# § 404.261. Computing your special minimum primary insurance amount.

(a) *Years of coverage.* (1) The first step in computing your special minimum primary insurance amount is to find the number of your years of coverage, which is the sum of—

(i) The quotient found by dividing your total creditable social security earnings during the period 1937–1950 by $900, disregarding any fractional remainder; plus

(ii) The number of your computation base years after 1950 in which your social security earnings were at least the amounts shown in appendix IV. ( *Computation base years* mean the same here as in other computation methods discussed in this subpart.)

(2) You must have at least 11 years of coverage to qualify for a special minimum primary insurance amount computation. However, special minimum primary insurance amounts based on little more than 10 years of coverage are usually lower than the regular minimum benefit that was in effect before 1982 (see §§ 404.212(e) and 404.222(b) of this part). In any situation where your primary insurance amount computed under another method is higher, we use that higher amount.

(b) *Computing your special minimum primary insurance amount.* (1) First, we subtract 10 from your years of coverage and multiply the remainder (at least 1 and no more than 20) by $11.50;

(2) Then we increase the amount found in paragraph (b)(1) of this section by any automatic cost-of-living or *ad hoc* increases that have become effective since December 1978 to find your special minimum primary insurance amount. See appendix V for the applicable table, which includes the 9.9 percent cost-of-living increase that became effective June 1979, the 14.3 percent increase that became effective June 1980, and the 11.2 percent increase that became effective June 1981.

*Example:*
Ms. F, who attained age 62 in January 1979, had $10,000 in total social security earnings before 1951 and her post-1950 earnings are as follows:
Year
Earnings
1951
$1,100
1952
950
1953
0
1954
1,000
1955
1,100
1956
1,200
1957
0
1958
1,300
1959
0
1960
1,300
1961
0
1962
1,400
1963
1,300
1964
0
1965
500
1966
700
1967
650
1968
900
1969
1,950
1970
2,100
1971
2,000
1972
1,500
1973
2,700
1974
2,100
1975
2,600
1976
3,850
1977
4,150
1978
0
Her primary insurance amount under the average-indexed-monthly-earnings method as of June 1981 is $240.40 (based on average indexed monthly earnings of $229). Her guaranteed-alternative primary insurance amount under the average-monthly-wage method as of June 1981 is $255.80 (based on average monthly wages of $131).
However, Ms. F has enough earnings before 1951 to allow her 11 years of coverage before 1951 ($10,000 ÷ $900 = 11, plus a remainder, which we drop). She has sufficient earnings in 1951–52, 1954–56, 1958, 1960, 1962–63, 1969–71, 1973, and 1976–77 to have a year of coverage for each of those years. She thus has 15 years of coverage after 1950 and a total of 26 years of coverage. We subtract 10 from her years of coverage, multiply the remainder (16) by $11.50 and get $184.00. We then apply the June 1979, June 1980, and June 1981 automatic cost-of-living increases (9.9 percent, 14.3 percent, and 11.2 percent, respectively) to that amount to find her special minimum primary insurance amount of $202.30 effective June 1979, $231.30 effective June 1980, and $257.30 effective June 1981. (See appendices V and VI.) Since her special minimum primary insurance amount is higher than the primary insurance amounts computed for her under the other methods described in this subpart for which she is eligible, her benefits (and those of her family) are based on the special minimum primary insurance amount.

[47 FR 30734, July 15, 1982, as amended at 48 FR 46143, Oct. 11, 1983]