SSA logo: link to Social Security Online home1233. Are other methods of computing net earnings for self-employment available?

If certain requirements are met, optional methods of computing net earnings Optional Methods of Computing Net Earnings from self-employment are available to individuals engaged in the following activities:

  1. Farm self-employment (see §1235, farm option);

  2. Non-farm self-employment (see §1242, non-farm option); or

  3. Both farm and non-farm self-employment (see §1244).

The purpose of the optional methods of computation is to enable a self-employed individual to maintain Social Security coverage during years of very low net earnings or a net loss.