There are a number of variables that determine your eligibility and benefit amounts when it comes to Social Security. The most prominent are your age at retirement and your lifetime earnings. Here is additional information to review your benefits.
What Are the Possible Social Security and SSI Benefit Amounts?
The new Social Security base amount is $783 per month for an individual and $1,175 per month for a couple. Social Security payment amounts may be higher in some states. Some states pay a supplementary payment for Social Security. Check your state website for information about your state’s policies.
Your Social Security retirement and disability benefit amounts depend on your lifetime earnings.
Below are some examples of the projected average benefit amounts for 2020:
- Average retirement benefit: $1,503
- Average disability benefit: $1,258
- Average widow's or widower's benefit: $1,422
The maximum Social Security retirement benefit that can be collected at full retirement age (67) is $3,011 per month in 2019. If you delay retirement to the age of 70.5, you can receive an even higher amount. Correspondingly, if you start your retirement early, you will receive less each month. The earliest you can begin getting Social Security benefits is at the age of 62.
You can create an account on the Social Security administration website and view your benefits and your options at any time. You can also contact SSI for any questions you may have or visit your nearest SSI office.
What About Eligibility for Disability While Working?
The person applying for Social Security disability benefits through Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) or SSI programs must be getting less than $1,260 per month in 2020 to qualify. Blind applicants can receive more per month. Anyone getting more than this amount is considered to be doing "substantial gainful activity."
However, people who are currently receiving SSDI and attempt to return to work can make more during their trial work program. A month counts as a trial work period month when an SSDI recipient makes more than $910 per month.
For people receiving SSI, the new federal income limit is $783 per month. However, the rules that govern what income is countable or not are quite complicated, and you should ask the SSI administration about your particular situation.
Over half of the income made by an SSI recipient is not counted toward the limit, so you can actually receive SSI until you make about $1,650 per month. This assumes you have no other income. Any income you receive between $0 and $1,650 will reduce your monthly benefit. In some states where extra payments are made to SSI recipients, the income limit may be higher.
Related Reading: How You Can Get an Online Payday Loan on Social Security
What About Early Retirement and Working Income?
If you retire early but continue to work, your benefits will be reduced when you make more than $18,240 per year. However, once you reach full retirement age, you can make up to $4,050 per month without losing some of your retirement benefits. After you reach full retirement age, your benefits are not reduced at all, even if you are earning more income.