Understanding the Social Security Family Maximum
Social Security Bulletin. 75(3): 1-13, 2015
13 Pages Posted: 7 Aug 2015
Date Written: August 3, 2015
Social Security’s family maximum rules limit the total benefits payable to a beneficiary’s family. Different family maximum rules apply to retirement and survivor benefits than to disability benefits. The rules for calculating family maximum benefits are complicated. In some particularly complex cases, it is difficult to properly implement the family maximum, which can result in over- or underpayments. This article explains how the family maximum rules work and describes their evolution. The authors use Modeling Income in the Near Term, Version 6, data to analyze who is affected by the family maximum and to what extent their benefits are changed.
Keywords: Social Security, family maximum, disability
JEL Classification: H55
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation