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Calculate Your Social Security Benefit

In this comprehensive overview piece, Eric Reed of takes readers through who is eligible for Social Security and how one calculates benefits.  The starting point is meeting three basic criteria: must be older than 62, must have enough eligibility credits (40 quarters of work), and must not have earned benefits through criminal activity.  The last of these disqualifies most undocumented immigrants, even though many do pay Social Security taxes.  They cannot collect benefits, however, unless they are considered a “qualified alien.”  Reed describes the retirement and disability portions of the program.  Lastly Reed goes through the Average Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME) and Primary Insurance Amount (PIA) concepts, using a real example to demonstrate just how the Social Security Administration gets to one’s exact monthly benefit amount.  Read full piece here.


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