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  • Writer's pictureStephanie O. Joy, Esq.

BLOG: Does Self-Employment Income Affect SSDIB Eligibility?

Updated: Apr 3, 2022

Revisited on 4/3/2022.

QUESTION: I was on SDI [note: SDI typically refers to a state's disability program, such as NJ's or CA's, but unless otherwise specified, it could be a private policy as well] for a full year and the SDI agent advised me that Self-Employment and 1099 work is considered profit, not wages, and I was never required to report that income to State Disability. Now I am applying for Social Security Disability, I am not sure if the same applies for SSDI as it did for SDI. I only make a few hundred dollars a month, even less after expenses.


Wow. OK, first, I may have to question that SDI agent in whichever state (there are only a few) provided you with SDI. But, I am federal, so not my area. With regard to federal Social Security Disability, yes, any "work activity" be it as an employee (W2), contractor (with or without 1099) or if you perceive yourself to be "self employed" - it is the earnings from your work activity that must be reported, as well as the actually work activity. That said, if your work activity legitimately produces only a few hundred dollars (after expense) in net income from self employment, and it does not illustrate to the SSA that you are likely able to pull down full time work activity of any kind, then this activity and earnings should not be a bar to winning your SSDIB claim, if you otherwise handle this under the laws that provide for it. If you are not familiar with the web of laws that run the SSDIB system, you may want to smartly retain an dedicated SSDIB attorney who focuses on this area of law.

For SSD/SSI representation consideration, please fill out our free Attorney Evaluation form. We do not charge a retainer to serve you. If, on the other hand, you seek an attorney level consultation/analysis of a particular situation, whether you are a company or an individual, or to discuss your own situation without representation, to learn information beyond that information you may obtain for free from the SSA itself, and you do not otherwise have a lawyer representing your before the SSA, you may order a scheduled consultation at affordable attorney rates. Contact the office at 201-317-0610 or email

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