To claim the Earned Income Tax Credit, you must have earned income. For the year you are filing, earned income includes all income from employment, but only if it is includable in gross income. Examples of earned income are: wages; salaries; tips; and other taxable employee compensation. Earned income also includes net earnings from self-employment. Earned income does not include amounts such as pensions and annuities, welfare benefits, unemployment compensation, worker's compensation benefits, or social security benefits. For tax years after 2003, members of the military who receive excludable combat zone compensation may elect to include it in earned income.