Am I Limited To The 15 Hour Rule Or The 45 Hour Per Month Rule?

Aug 12 2018 - 4:27pm

I'm taking my SS @62, I'm a licensed insurance agent but have not been active in several years.Ive been offered an independent contractor job with a company, but all earnings are 1099. My question is, Am I limited to the 15 hour rule or 45 hours per month Rule? Is this occupation considered "substantial services" I will be cold calling on small businesses.


I'm sure that Social Security would allow you to devote up to 45 hours per month to your self-employment without classifying it as substantial services. The 15 hour limit is only used for highly skilled and highly remunerated occupations like medical doctors. The number of hours that you work won't matter, though, as long as your net earnings for the calendar year are below the annual earnings test exempt amount, which is set at $17040 in 2018 ( As long as you don't earn more than that amount, you wouldn't lose any benefits to the earnings test no matter how many hours you work.

Social Security would only care about the number of hours you work for purposes of the special monthly earnings test ( The monthly test can only be used in one calendar year and would only be used if it was more advantageous than the calendar year earnings test.

Before filing at age 62 and locking yourself into a substantially reduced monthly benefit rate, you should strongly consider using our maximization software to compare all of your filing options and determine your optimal strategy for claiming your benefits.

Best, Jerry