# Why I am not allowed to answer protected questions?

I'm a new user of MathOverflow. In the privileges section, it says that I can now answer protected question.

But in reality, when I visited this protected question, it says: I'm not counting the association bonus, as I have already given all my association bonus points as bounty to a question. Is this a bug?

It seems that the bounty you offered adds $$-100$$ to what counts as "reputation earned on this site" for the purpose of answering protected questions. At least, that is my understanding based on the explanation given here:

Basically, so far you have (on MO):

• Started with 1 reputation point.
• Got the association bonus +100.
• Earned 10 reputation points from one upvote.
• Used 100 reputation points on a bounty.

That gives your current reputation, which is 11. But the association bonus does not count when checking whether a user can answer protected questions. So you have to add -100 and you're on -89. (In other words, you have to compare your current reputation with 110 reputation points, which is 10+100, i.e. the threshold for answering protected questions together with 100 points you were given as the association bonus.)