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Social Security earnings test applies individually, not jointly

Q: Both my wife and I receive our own SSA retirement. Does the annual earnings test apply to us individually or are our earnings combined?

A: The annual earnings test applies individually. You can each earn up to the limit applicable to your age and full retirement age before any reduction in benefits.

Howard Kossover is a public affairs specialist with the Social Security Administration office in Grand Forks, N.D. You can reach him by e-mail at