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Jeri Fields: Workers in your home and Social Security

Do you plan to pay a cleaning person, cook, gardener, babysitter or other household worker at least $2,300 in 2021? This amount includes any cash you pay for your household employee’s transportation, meals and housing. If you will pay at least $2,300 to one person, you have some additional financial responsibilities.

When you pay at least $2,300 in wages to a household worker, you must do all of the following:

• Deduct Social Security and Medicare taxes from those wages.
• Pay these taxes to the Internal Revenue Service.
• Report the wages to Social Security.

For every $2,300 in wages, most household employees earn credits toward Social Security benefits and Medicare coverage. Generally, people need 10 years of work to qualify for:

• Retirement benefits (as early as age 62).
• Disability benefits for the worker and the worker’s dependents.
• Survivors benefits for the worker’s family.
• Medicare benefits.

You can learn more about reporting household worker income by reading Household Workers at

Jeri Fields is the manager of the district Social Security office in Ironton.