Top 10 States Where Social Security Benefits Are Highest

Some states will receive higher Social Security benefits than others. Is your state one of them? Let’s find out together!

As you already know, your Social Security payments are determined by a complicated formula that takes into account your age when you file the papers for getting the benefits, as well as the amount of money you made while employed.

As of January 2024, all retired workers’ average Social Security retirement pension was $1,907, whereas the highest benefit was $4,873. To know which state received the highest amount, you can access data from the Social Security Administration regarding the total benefits paid within the state and the number of beneficiaries in each state.

We wanted to know the states where the benefits would be highest, so we decided to do our research and find answers. For this analysis, we included only seniors, survivors, and disability insurance (OASDI). We didn’t include Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in our project. You’re probably curious to see if your state is on this list and how much money you’ll get, so let’s get straight to what everyone wants to know!

2024 social security
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10. Georgia

If you’re a Georgia resident, you’ll be happy to read that you might be one of the 1,945,822 to receive a huge Social Security check. According to experts, this state will pay its citizens no less than $3.21 billion.

9. North Carolina

Even though the total Social Security received is a bit smaller than the one in Georgia, at $3.8 billion, the good news is that more people will benefit from more money, with the total number of recipients being 2,234,888.

8. Illinois

Illinois people, don’t worry, you’ll get a big check too! Experts say that the total SS received in this gorgeous state is $3.99 billion, and no less than 2,285,265 recipients will be happier with more money on their checks.

Do you live in any of these states? Don’t lose hope; we have 7 more states to talk about today, so maybe you’re one of the lucky ones!

7. Ohio

The total SS received in Ohio is equal to the one in Illinois, at $3.99 billion. But as opposed to the other state previously mentioned, the total number of recipients here is 2,427,966.

6. Michigan

The money keeps increasing here, and we’re here for that! Speaking of increase, the total Social Security received in this state is $4.01 billion, and no less than 2,269,413 people will receive a bigger check.

5. Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania people, you’re in luck because you will get a ton of money in your check! The Social Security received in this state is around $5.1 billion, which will be split between 2,898,240 recipients.

Social Security number spousal
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4. New York

New York babies, you’re in for a treat. Your state will have no less than $6.44 billion for Social Security, and it will be split between 3,710,827. Pretty great, right?

3. Texas

We’re getting closer and closer to the states that will receive the most Social Security, and this time we’ll talk about wonderful Texas. This state will have around $7.5 billion, which will be split between 4,568,465 recipients.

We only have two more states to talk about! Can you guess their names?

2. Florida

Besides being already lucky to live in one of the most beautiful states in the country, with tons of sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters, you’re also one of the happy 4,986,213 recipients who’ll get a big Social Security check. If you’re curious about the total amount received, it’s $8.5 billion.

We’re almost at number 1! Don’t go anywhere just yet!

1. California

The no. 1 state that will receive one of the amounts of money for Social Security is California. The $10.4 billion will be split between 6,251,295 recipients, so you can be one of the lucky people.

What about the estimated payments for 2024?

COLA only increased by 3.2% in 2024, compared to 8.7% in 2023. Believe it or not, that was the largest COLA in 40 years. According to experts, around 7.5 million recipients receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments, whereas over 66 million beneficiaries receive Social Security benefits.

If you’re curious about the average monthly benefits for 2024, here they are:

  • all disabled workers will receive around $1,537, up from $1,489;
  • a disabled worker, a spouse, and one or more children will receive $2,720, which is an increase from $2,636;
  • aged widow(er) alone will benefit $1,773, up from $1,718;
  • widowed mothers and two children will receive $3,653, which is up from $3,540;
  • the aged couples where both receive benefits will have around $3,033, up from $2,939;
  • and all retired workers will get around $1,907, up from $1,848.
downsides retire, Social Security
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Let’s talk about the states that tax Social Security

Financial experts say that taxing Social Security benefits could reduce the COLA and make it feel like the increase you get isn’t that big anyway. The states that do this are New Mexico, West Virginia, Rhode Island, Vermont, Utah, Colorado, Montana, Connecticut, Minnesota, and Kansas.

As different sources previously mentioned, a state that has a rate of 5% is taking $1,500 of $30,000 in benefits. If you live on a fixed income, this can feel like a significant amount for you.

And those that don’t…

As you can imagine, some states don’t tax Social Security, meaning that you’ll feel that increase the most. These are Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

There are some changes to earning limits

Financial experts say that there will also be other changes this year, and they’re all related to Social Security SSI benefits for people who didn’t leave the workforce but draw their benefits.

One of these changes is the fact that the SSA increased the earning limits for people who work and are younger than the full retirement age to no less than $22,320. To put it simply, SSA deducts $1 from benefits for each $2 you earn over $22,320.

As for those who reach their full retirement age in 2024, the earning limit will increase to $59,520. As opposed to the previous case, the SSA deducts $1 from benefits for each $3 you earn over $59,520. This will happen until the month you hit your full retirement age.

If you’re already full retirement age, there will be no limit on earnings for you. Even though the state you live in won’t affect how big your COLA is, something else will. Your benefits will be less or more depending on whether you get taxed or not.

If you want to know more about Social Security, understand your options, and what benefits you could get, here’s a fantastic book that shares the information simply and engagingly. Click here to get it!

Do you live in any of the 10 states that have the biggest amounts received? Let us know in the comments below!

Did you find this article helpful? If you enjoyed it and you’d like to check out something else from Retired in USA, here’s a good post for you: Top 8 Key Differences in Trump and Biden’s Views on Social Security, Medicare


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