Q. I am having difficulty finding the definition of substantial earnings. My Social Security statement shows “Your Taxed Social Security Earnings.” Is that the same as substantial earnings? If not, how do I find out what my substantial earnings are? I have the chart listing the substantial earnings for each year.
A. “Substantial Earnings” is a term that describes the minimum qualified earnings for a particular past year, for the purpose of computing the Windfall Elimination Provision. To determine whether or not your earnings qualify as “substantial” for a given year, compare “Your Taxed Social Security Earnings” for that year from Page 3 of your Social Security statement with the substantial earnings threshold for that same year from the table on Page 2 of the brochure at https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10045.pdf. For each year that your statement earnings equal or exceed the substantial earnings threshold for that year, you qualify for one year of substantial earnings when computing the WEP.