Receiving Social Security and Working – What to do if you Earn over the Limit Guest Columnist Oscar Garcia  is a Public Affairs Specialist with the Social Security Administration. You can direct your questions to him at: SSA, 411 Richland Hills Drive, San Antonio, Texas, 78245. You can also email him at


I filed for Social Security retirement last year when I turned 62. I started working part-time this year and did not expect to earn over the allowable work limit in order to qualify for my benefits. However, I am almost working full-time hours now. What happens if I earn over the limit in 2013?

If you earn over the annual work limit this year then it will affect your benefits for 2013. Since you are either 62 or 63 this year, the annual earnings limit is $15,120. If you believe you will earn more than this amount in 2013, then you should contact Social Security to revise your annual work estimate. This way you avoid being overpaid and having to repay benefits that you were not entitled to receive based on your earnings. Once you report your anticipated earnings for this year, we will adjust the amount of your Social Security benefits based on what you tell us you expect to earn this year. If you think your earnings for 2013 will be over $15,120 then let us know right away. If other family members get benefits based on your work, your earnings after you start getting retirement benefits could reduce their benefits, too. However, if your spouse and children get benefits as family members, their earnings affect only their own benefits. If you are younger than full retirement age during all of 2013, we must deduct $1 from your benefits for each $2 you earn above $15,120. For example, let us say that you report your 2013 wages to be $20,120. You would be over the annual limit by $5,000. Social Security would actually withhold $2,500 from your benefits for 2013. If your monthly benefit is $500 a month, then we would withhold the benefit payment for the next five months. The annual work limit is in place until the month you reach your full retirement age. Also, the annual work limit is quite a bit for higher during the year you reach full retirement age. There is still an annual work limit during the year you reach full retirement age, but only up to the month you attain full retirement age. You can learn more about the annual work limit by going to and search for the pamphlet titled “How Work Affects Your Benefits”.


Comments are closed. is the only comprehensive senior lifestyle website for Southeast Texas Seniors. is dedicated to being informative to all things of concern to seniors, their families and their caregivers.