SSA logo: link to Social Security Online home913. Processing or Packaging of Agricultural Commodities

913.1 Is processing or packaging of an agricultural commodity covered by Social Security?

Work in connection with the processing or packaging of any agricultural commodity in its raw or unmanufactured state is covered by Social Security as agricultural labor if:

  1. The work is not performed in connection with the commercial canning or freezing of the commodity;

  2. The work is not performed after the delivery of the commodity to a terminal market for distribution for consumption; and

  3. The work is performed in the employ of:

    1. A farm operator who produced more than one-half of the agricultural commodity being processed or packaged in a pay period; or

    2. An unincorporated group of farm operators who:

      1. Do not number more than 20 at any time during the calendar quarter, before 1978, in which the work was performed, or, after 1977, during the calendar year in which the work is performed;

      2. Are not a farmers' cooperative; and

      3. Produce the entire agricultural commodity being processed or packaged in a pay period.

913.2 Is the work involved in getting commodities to market covered by Social Security?

Activities performed to get commodities to market include: handling, planting, drying, packing, packaging, processing, freezing, grading, storing, or delivering to storage or to market or to a carrier for transportation to market. If you perform such activities in connection with an agricultural or horticultural commodity, the work you do is considered agricultural labor if the conditions in (A)-(C) above apply.

913.3 What if work changes a commodity from its raw or natural state?

If you process commodities in such a way that the work you perform changes them from their raw or natural state, the work you do is not agricultural labor. Likewise, any work you perform on a commodity after it has been changed from its raw or natural state is not agricultural labor.

Last Revised: Jun. 30, 2004