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Recomputation of the PIA

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at

721. Recomputation of the PIA

721.1 Can the PIA be recomputed?

Your PIA may be recomputed (and increased) one or more times after the first computation. The first computation is made at the time you become entitled to retirement or disability insurance benefits. There is no need for a beneficiary to take any special action to have the benefit recomputed. There are two types of recomputations: automatic and railroad.

721.2 What is an "automatic recomputation?"

The automatic recomputation (see §722) gives you credit for any substantial additional covered earnings in the year you first became entitled to benefits or in a later year. A recomputation to include a particular year's earnings is effective in January following the year in which the earnings were paid. For example, a benefit increase resulting from an automatic recomputation to include 1992 earnings will first be paid for January 1993.

721.3 What is a "railroad computation?"

The railroad recomputation increases survivor benefits by including railroad earnings that could not be used in figuring the Social Security benefit(s) when the worker was alive.

Last Revised: Sep. 22, 2003


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