(a) General. We compute most workers' primary insurance amounts under one of two major methods. There are, in addition, several special methods of computing primary insurance amounts which we apply to some workers. Your primary insurance amount is the highest of all those computed under the methods for which you are eligible.
(b) Major methods. (1) If after 1978 you reach age 62, or become disabled or die before age 62, we compute your primary insurance amount under what we call the average-indexed-monthly-earnings method, which is described in §§ 404.210 through 404.212. The earliest of the three dates determines the computation method we use.
(c) Special methods. (1) Your primary insurance amount, computed under any of the special methods for which you are eligible as described in this paragraph, may be substituted for your primary insurance amount computed under either major method described in paragraph (b) of this section.
(i) The primary insurance amount we compute for you under the average-indexed-monthly-earnings method;
(i) You were disabled and received social security disability insurance benefits sometime in your life;
(ii) Your disability insurance benefits were terminated because of your recovery or because you engaged in substantial gainful activity; and
(iii) You are, after 1978, re-entitled to disability insurance benefits, or entitled to old-age insurance benefits, or have died.
(5) In some situations, we use what we call a special minimum computation, described in §§ 404.260 through 404.261, to find your primary insurance amount. Computations under this method reflect long-term, low-wage attachment to covered work.