If you are a "household worker,” your wages are covered by Social Security if you earn $1,700 in 2009 (it was $1,600 in 2008) or more (including cash for transportation expenses) during the year from any one employer.
Household workers include babysitters, maids, cooks, laundry workers, butlers, gardeners, chauffeurs, people who do house cleaning or repair work, or anyone employed in or around someone else's home. (This does not apply if you are under age 18 during any part of the year and household work is not your principal job.) Your employer must deduct your share of the Social Security taxes from your wages and report your earnings to the Internal Revenue Service. If the wages aren't reported, you will not earn Social Security credits for your work.