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Earnings as Basis for Benefits

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


1400. Earnings as Basis for Benefits

1400.1 What is the basis for Social Security benefit amounts?

Social Security benefits are based upon your earnings as reported to the Social Security Administration (SSA). For this reason, it is important that you report these earnings to us promptly and accurately. (See §§1402-1404.)

1400.2 What types of benefits are determined by earnings?

Your earnings are used to find out whether you are entitled to retirement, survivors, disability, and health insurance benefits (see Chapter 2). Also, they are used to calculate cash benefit rates (see Chapter 7).

Last Revised: Jul. 1, 2004


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