The tables below provide Social Security program amounts that are automatically adjusted each year according to formulas in the Social Security Act. Column headings link to more detail.
annual exempt amounts
|Lower amount||Higher amount|
|Year||Dollar amounts in PIA formula||Dollar amounts in maximum family benefit formula|
|Year||"Old-law" contribution and benefit base||Earnings needed for a quarter of coverage (or "credit")||Monthly substantial gainful activity amount for …||Coverage thresholds for …|
- Automatic cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for OASDI benefits are effective for December of the stated year, first payable in the following January. For SSI, the COLAs are also payable the following January. See table of SSI payment amounts for values back to 1975.
- The contribution and benefit base is the maximum amount of earnings taxable and creditable for benefit computation purposes.
- The retirement test does not apply to beneficiaries over the normal retirement age. The higher exempt amount applies only in the year the worker attains the normal retirement age, and then only for months in that year prior to the month of such attainment. The lower exempt amount applies in years prior to the year the beneficiary attains the normal retirement age.
- The "old-law" contribution and benefit base is the base that would have been in effect in the absence of the 1977 amendments. It has special purposes under the Social Security program, the Railroad Retirement program, and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.