A NSM is any month of entitlement, before FRA, that an entitled beneficiary neither
earns wages of more than the monthly exempt amount nor performs substantial services
in self-employment. A NSM exists whether or not the beneficiary:
has excess earnings for the year,
receives a payment based on the NSM, or
waives payment for the NSM.
For specifics on determining substantial services, see RS 02505.065. To determine annual and monthly exempt amounts, see RS 02501.025.
Example of determining NSMs for a retirement beneficiary:
A beneficiary who works for wages becomes entitled to benefits beginning 02/11. He
earned $40,000 in 2011 but did not earn over the monthly exempt amount in June and
July. Therefore, June and July are NSMs.
Disabled beneficiaries (DIB, DWB, and CDB) are not subject to the ET. Therefore, the
months that the beneficiary becomes entitled to disability benefits do not constitute
Example of determining NSMs for a beneficiary entitled to DIB then RIB:
A beneficiary becomes entitled to DIB in 2009. He did not work any month after 2008.
In 02/11, he attains FRA, his DIB terminates, and he becomes entitled to RIB. The
months he did not work in 2009 through 2010 and 01/11 are not NSMs because the beneficiary
received DIB payments for those months.