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Q. How are my social security benefits calculated?

A. Benefits are based on your social security contributions over the time. The amount of time youíve contributed to social security is counted in year quarters. You need 40 quarters of contributions to be eligible for social security benefits. The amount of your benefit depends on the amount youíve contributed over the years. The maximum benefit is around $1,715 per month at retirement. There are survivor benefits attached to social security for minor children and surviving spouses. Disability benefits may also be attached, but the definition of disability is very stringent and not everyone qualifies for disability benefits.

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