How Much Can I Earn And Still Receive Benefits?

Mar 29 2017 - 7:15am

Hello. I am a 43 year old widow. My children collect my late husband's social security benefits, presently. Upon filing for SS, I was told that I make too much at my teaching job to collect benefits for myself. (I was informed that the family cap for monthly payment is 3000.00. I would be eligible for the remaining 800.00 after my children were paid if I made less working). I am wondering if you can tell me the amount of earnings I could earn and still qualify for the remaining funds. Thank you!


The amount that you could earn this year without losing any benefits is $16,920, and you would lose $1 of benefits for each $2 that you earn in excess of that amount ( I'm guessing that if you earn more than about $50,000 this year, you could safely assume that no benefits would be payable. That's just an educated estimate, though, based on incomplete information.

However, even if your calendar year earnings will be too high to receive benefits under the annual earnings test, you may be able to receive benefits for part of the year based on the monthly earnings test ( The monthly test allows payment for any month in which you earn less than $1,410 in 2017, so if you don't teach during the summer that may permit you to be paid benefits for 2 or 3 months. The monthly test can only be used in one calendar year, however.

Best, Jerry