Social Security Questions? Ask a Social Security Expert
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If your current earnings are higher than earnings used to calculate your benefits, SSA should automatically update the benefits. But there are other factor to consider. Did you apply for your benefits before your full retirement age? Are you currently at full retirement age? What were your last year earnings?
Ok. According to my calculation, you are 80. What type of earnings did you have in last 12 years? Not all type of earnings will increase your benefits.
W2 wages are type of earnings that may increase your benefits.
Only your 35 highest-earning years (adjusting for inflation) count, so continuing to work won't boost your benefits unless it increases your average income for the highest-earnings years.
The key word here is "adjusting for inflation". Making 26K in 1980 is not the same as making 26K in 2015. SSA uses equivalents to calculate your benefits. Which means if you made 26K in 1980, the current equivalent would be much higher.
There are also limits how much of the earnings are used to calculate your benefits. For instance in 1951 the limit was 3.600, in 2016 the limit is 118,000.
Log on into your online social security account and check that all earnings had been recorded. You can also make an appointment at your local office, have an agent access your records and make sure that everything is recorded. She can also show you how your benefits have been calculated and what may be the reason why you do not see any increase in your benefits.
What I am trying to say is that SSA use a complex formula to calculate your benefits and unfortunately it is not as simple as "replacing" one year with another.