Do Self-Employed Get Social Security?

  • John A. Osborne
  • Mar 14, 2023
Small Business Insurance Indiana

Social Security is a crucial part of retirement planning for most Americans. It provides a safety net for those who have worked and paid taxes throughout their working years. However, many people wonder if self-employed individuals receive the same Social Security benefits as those who work for a traditional employer.

The answer is yes, self-employed individuals can receive Social Security benefits. However, the process is a bit different than for those who are employed by a company.

How Social Security Works for Self-Employed Individuals

Self-employed individuals are responsible for paying their Social Security taxes. They must pay both the employee and employer portions of the taxes, which is a total of 12.4% of their net income.

Here are a few things to keep in mind about Social Security for self-employed individuals:

  • Self-employed individuals must file a Schedule SE to report their Social Security and Medicare taxes.
  • The amount of Social Security taxes paid is based on their net income, which is calculated by subtracting business expenses from total income.
  • Self-employed individuals can deduct half of their Social Security taxes on their income tax return.
  • Self-employed individuals must pay estimated taxes throughout the year to avoid penalties.

How Social Security Benefits are Calculated for Self-Employed Individuals

Social Security benefits are based on the amount of money an individual has earned throughout their working years. For self-employed individuals, this includes both their net income from their business and any wages they may have earned from traditional employment.

Here are a few things to keep in mind about how Social Security benefits are calculated for self-employed individuals:

  • The Social Security Administration calculates an individual’s benefits using their highest 35 years of earnings.
  • If a self-employed individual has not earned income for 35 years, zeros will be used in the calculation for the missing years.
  • The amount of Social Security taxes paid, as well as the age at which an individual starts receiving benefits, can also affect the amount of benefits received.

Other Benefits for Self-Employed Individuals

In addition to Social Security benefits, self-employed individuals may also be eligible for other benefits, such as disability insurance and Medicare.

Disability insurance can provide income if a self-employed individual becomes unable to work due to a disability. Medicare provides health insurance for those over the age of 65, as well as those with certain disabilities.

It’s important for self-employed individuals to consider all of their options when it comes to retirement planning and insurance coverage.


Self-employed individuals do receive Social Security benefits, but the process is slightly different than for those employed by a traditional company. It’s important for self-employed individuals to understand their responsibilities when it comes to paying Social Security taxes and filing their tax returns. Additionally, they should consider all of their options when it comes to retirement planning and insurance coverage.

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