East China, MI asked in Employment Law and Social Security for Michigan

Q: My employer paid me cash for 10 years. I filed for social security but having issues because of the cash payments.

What if anything can i do about this?

1 Lawyer Answer
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: You are in a tough jam. Were you an independent contractor or just paid under the table? Depending on your answer to that, this may be a significant tax issue for you and your employer. You likely had an obligation to report your payments as income on your taxes, which would have subjected you to FICA taxes out of that portion. Social Security uses that tax information to help determine your benefits eligibility; without that, it's as if you never worked those 10 years.

You should consult with a tax attorney or CPA. Likely, you'll need to go back and file or amend previous tax filings, then reapply for social security.

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