Welcome to Cosi Agency’s insightful blog on navigating the delicate balance between working and drawing Social Security benefits. As trusted Registered Social Security analysts with a decade of expertise, we understand the importance of maximizing your Social Security income while pursuing employment opportunities. In this article, we shed light on the intricate relationship between work, earnings, and Social Security benefits


The ability to work and receive Social Security benefits simultaneously is a valuable option. However, it comes with certain limitations, particularly for individuals below full retirement age. If you’re younger than full retirement age and earn more than the yearly limit, your benefits will be reduced. For 2024, the annual limit is $22,320.

Earnings Limits Before Full Retirement Age

If you are under full retirement age for the entire year, $1 is deducted from your benefit payments for every $2 you earn above the annual limit.

In the year you reach full retirement age (FRA), the limit for the months before FRA is $59,520. Beyond this limit, $1 in benefits is deducted for every $3 you earn.

Full Retirement Age (FRA)

Upon reaching full retirement age, which varies based on your birth year, there is no limit on your earnings. Use the Retirement Age Calculator to determine your FRA and the Retirement Earnings Test Calculator to understand benefit reductions.

What Counts as Earnings

When calculating deductions, only wages from your job or net earnings if self-employed are considered. Bonuses, commissions, and vacation pay are included, while pensions, annuities, and other non-employment income are excluded.


Continuing to work means paying Social Security taxes on your earnings. Periodic reviews of your record ensure that additional earnings may increase your monthly benefit. Any increase will be communicated through a letter.

Working While Receiving Social Security Before FRA

While drawing benefits before full retirement age, your Social Security income may be temporarily reduced based on your income level. The specific reduction depends on your age and income.

Earnings Limit Before FRA (2024)

$1,770 per month or $21,240 per year. Excess earnings result in a $1 withholding for every $2 earned above the limit.

Earnings Limit for Those Reaching FRA (2024)

$56,520 for the months before reaching FRA. Earnings exceeding $4,710 per month lead to a $1 withholding for every $3 in excess earnings.


It’s crucial to understand that any reduction in benefits due to working before FRA is temporary. Benefits will be recalculated and increased once you reach full retirement age.

Work Incentives and Programs

Social Security offers various work incentive programs, such as Impairment-Related Work Expenses (IRWE) and the Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS) account. These programs aim to support individuals with disabilities in achieving independence through employment.

Reporting Work Income to Social Security

Regular reporting of work income and any changes in work activity is essential. Communication channels include phone, fax, mail, or visiting the local SSA office. Keeping Social Security informed ensures a smooth process.

At Cosi Agency, we advocate for informed decisions regarding the delicate balance between working and drawing Social Security benefits. Utilize the available tools, calculators, and work incentive programs to maximize your benefits. Remember, your full retirement age is a critical factor, and understanding the rules allows you to navigate the complexities of Social Security benefits seamlessly. Trust Cosi Agency to guide you in achieving the right balance for a secure financial future.

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Call Enrique with Cosi Agency, we understand the importance of making informed decisions when it comes to your Social Security benefits.

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