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Generally, the same rules apply to nonprofit or charitable organizations that apply to other employers. If you were employed by a nonprofit organization, you and your employer were both required to pay Social Security tax on your earnings. Your part of the Social Security tax should have been withheld from your paycheck and submitted to the government by your employer.

However, some religious groups oppose paying into the Social Security system, and the law allows them not to participate. If you worked for such an organization and earned more than $100 a year, you were required to pay into the Social Security system as if you were self-employed.

The Same Rules of Eligibility Apply

If you work for a nonprofit or a for-profit employer, then you may be eligible for Social Security disability as long as:

  • You paid into the Social Security system for the required amount of time. You need to earn a certain number of work credits based on your age in order to collect benefits.
  • You have a medical condition that is likely to last for 12 months or more or that is likely to be fatal. Some, but not all of these medical conditions are included in the Listing of Impairments. Your doctors’ evaluations and prognoses will be important in determining how long your condition is expected to last.
  • Your medical condition makes you unable to work. Your doctors’ evaluations will also be important in determining whether or not you can work. Additionally, your work history, education and other factors will be relevant.

If you have any questions about your eligibility, please start a live chat with us today and schedule an initial consultation with one of our experienced Social Security disability lawyers.

Morgan & Weisbrod LLP

by Paul B. Burkhalter
Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.


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