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What is the maximum Social Security benefit?

En español | The most an individual who files a claim for Social Security retirement benefits in 2021 can receive per month is:

  • $3,895 for someone who files at age 70. 
  • $3,148 for someone who files at full retirement age (currently 66 and 2 months).
  • $2,324 for someone who files at 62.

(For context, the estimated average Social Security retirement benefit in 2021 is $1,543 a month. The average disability benefit is $1,277.)

Who is eligible for the maximum benefit? People who earned Social Security’s maximum taxable income — the amount of your earnings on which you pay Social Security taxes — for at least 35 years of their working lives. The maximum taxable income in 2021 is $142,800. The figure is adjusted annually based on changes in national wage levels, and thus the maximum benefit changes each year.

Keep in mind

  • The maximum benefit is not to be confused with the maximum family benefit. That’s the most a family can collectively receive from Social Security (including retirement, spousal, children’s, disability or survivor benefits) on one family member’s earnings record. 

Updated December 24 2020

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