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:
Farm self-employment (see §1235, farm option);
Non-farm self-employment (see §1242, non-farm option); or
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.