Computation Years

When the Social Security Administration (SSA) determines your monthly benefit payments for any of its programs, including Social Security Disability (SSD), they look at your earnings from past employment. They also take into consideration whether or not you paid Social Security taxes on your earnings.

All of the years in which you worked and paid Social Security taxes from 1950 up to the date that you become eligible for Social Security benefits are known as your “Base Years.” Your earnings from each Base Year can potentially affect your monthly benefits from the Social Security Administration.

To determine benefit payment amounts, the SSA uses an “Average Monthly Earnings” or “AME”. Only your highest 35 years of earnings from your Base Years are used to calculating your AME.

Your 35 highest years of earnings are known as your “Computation Years” in all SSA communications.

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