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How much does the average Social Security recipient receive? Full table

The amount that you can receive from the SSA depends on which programmes you qualify for and the people qualifying for the most receive the most.

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Kevin DietschAFP

The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides a wide range of programs designed to provide financial support for Americans. However it is the agency’s retirement benefits that are by far the most widely utilised, and which provide a “replacement income for qualified retirees and their families.”

In July 2022 more than 70 million people received some form of support from the SSA, of which more than 50 million claimed retirement benefits, a whopping 77.6 percent.

TAlongside retired workers, people receiving retirement benefits are the two groups of recipients that receive the highest average benefit. This isn’t too difficult to work out why. While disabled benefits are available to everyone kept out of work by a disability, retirement payment averages can include disability payments if the recipient qualifies. A 30-year old would be able to receive disability payments but not retirement payments.

A table below demonstrates some of the key payment groups as well as their average benefit.

Type of beneficiaryPercent of total payoutsAverage monthly benefit
All recipients100%$1,550.48
Retirement benefits77.6%$1,630.93
Retired workers73.4%$1,676.53
Survivor benefits8.9%$1,330.87
Nondisabled widow(er)s5.4%$1,566.44
Disability insurance13.5%$1,233.70
Disabled workers11.6%$1,364.41

Figures from the Social Security Administration.

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How is the payment amount calculated?

The amount that you can receive when you retire is determined by a few main factors. The Social Security Administration looks at your 35 highest-income years and calculates the average. Then that number is plugged into a formula, taking into consideration at what age you retire, that will determine your primary insurance amount (PIA). You can use the Social Security Administration’s calculator to see what your benefits could be.