Will earned income impact my Social Security benefits?

Published: May 15, 2023

Full question: I’m looking to publish my own book, but I’m concerned that if my sales will only be enough to negate my SSI, that I will be left destitute. My research says that royalties such as from book sales are not counted as income for SSI, but I find it prudent to seek outside confirmation, in case I have read something wrong.

Hi there,

If you are collecting Social Security retirement or disability benefits, are younger than your full retirement age, and also have “earned income,” you may be subject to the Social Security earnings test. Earned income is employment income (W-2 wages) or net-income from self-employment.

Royalty payments from book sales would be included in net self-employment income.

There are many unknown details about your particular situation that would determine if your income would be subject to the earnings test.

If you are referring to Supplemental Security Income, SSI, there are very different earnings limits as described here.

If you need more personalized assistance, please reach out to us at help@rssa.com to schedule a consultation.

Take care,

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