TN 26 (06-04)

RS 01901.520 Nonbusiness Work


Section 210(a)(3)(B) of the Social Security Act;
Regulation No.4, Sec. 404.1058(a).


Nonbusiness work:

  • is work not in the course of the employer's trade or business;

  • does not promote or advance the trade or business of the employer;

  • does not include domestic service in a private home of the employer or on a farm; and

  • is never work for a corporation.



Types of nonbusiness work are as follows:

  • Work of carpenters and other artisans or common laborers engaged in the repair, modernization, or construction of the employer’s private home;

  • Work which does not constitute domestic service because not performed in or about the private home of the employer, e.g., work of a companion hired by an institutionalized patient or by his guardian, family or friends;

  • Work performed in connection with the employer’s hobby or hobbies;

  • Work performed in connection with the employer’s recreation, e.g., work performed in the safekeeping, overhauling, and repairing of boats or automobiles so used;

  • Work of campaign workers employed by a candidate for public office;

  • Work of individual’s hired by the owner of a cemetery plot, or by a member of a family owning a family plot, or by friends to keep the lot in order or to give “special care”;

  • Other nondomestic work such as work of people employed in connection with the social life of the employer and his family and work of musicians, pall bears, etc., hired by the friends, family, or estate of a decedent.


1. Beginning January 1, 1978

The 1977 amendments impose a cash-pay test of $100 in any calendar year, subsequent to 1977, for determining whether remuneration for nonbusiness work is “wages.” Therefore, an employee must be paid at least $100 in a calendar year to be considered for coverage.

2. 1955 Through 1977

Effective January 1, 1955, nonbusiness work performed by an employee is covered under Social Security. The 1954 amendments eliminate the regularity-of-employment test. However, the $50 cash pay test (the wage exclusion) is retained.

3. 1951 Through 1954

Nonbusiness work performed in a calendar quarter is covered provided the employee meets the “regularity-of-employment” and “cash pay” tests.

The cash pay test is pay of $50 or more in a calendar quarter.

Regularity-of-employment is met when the worker performs nonbusiness work on at least part of 24 given days in a calendar quarter or the preceding calendar quarter.

Nonbusiness work in a farm operation is not covered unless the agricultural labor test is met.

4. Before 1951

All nonbusiness work is excluded from coverage.


RS 01402.270, Services Not in the Course of the Employer’s Trade or Business


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RS 01901.520 - Nonbusiness Work - 06/07/2004
Batch run: 07/03/2014