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Will I qualify for SSDI as a self-employed professional?

On Behalf of | Jan 20, 2023 | SSDI

Employed adults have the benefit of numerous systems intended to reduce their possibility of financial hardship due to medical issues. Employers provide workers’ compensation coverage in case of a work-related health concern, and workers may also qualify for unemployment benefits if they lose their jobs.

Working adults who develop a disabling medical condition may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits if they can no longer work because of a medical issue. Throughout someone’s working life, their employers typically withhold payment for Social Security contributions in addition to funds for income tax payments. Later, those worker can claim retirement or SSDI benefits.

As a self-employed adult, you don’t have an employer providing you with unemployment protection or workers’ compensation. Any coverage you have will typically be something you chose to carry on your own behalf. Can you qualify for SSDI benefits when you are self-employed?

Your tax contributions include Social Security

Although you may not send a separate check to the Social Security Administration (SSA) every time you pay your taxes, you still make regular contributions. As a self-employed professional, you likely make quarterly tax payments throughout the year, in addition to filing an annual income tax return.

You pay a substantial amount in income tax every quarter in part because you have to cover your share of the taxes and what an employer would cover in most cases. The longer you have worked and the more money you have earned throughout your self-employed career, the more likely it is that you will have made sufficient contributions to Social Security to qualify for SSDI benefits.

Your recent work history also matters

Unfortunately, your overall contributions aren’t the only consideration when you apply for SSDI benefits. The SSSA will also look at how much you have worked recently. However, those still earning their income through self-employment can often qualify for SSDI benefits based on their recent work history and the number of credits they have accrued by making contributions through tax payments.

Self-employed adults also need to know what may qualify as gainful activity when receiving benefits to avoid mistakes that could result in a loss of benefits. Educating yourself about the rules that apply to SSDI benefits can help you obtain the coverage you require when you can no longer work to support yourself.