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  If I have 40 credits, will I get the maximum benefit?
  I worked for the last 10 years and I now have my 40 credits. Does this mean that I get the maximum Social Security retirement benefit?

Probably not. The 40 credits are the minimum number you need to qualify for a benefit. The amount of the benefit, however, is not based on those credits; it's based on your earnings. We determine your average earnings over your working years and use a special calculation formula that is set by law. For most people like you who need 40 credits, we must average their best 35 years of earnings to figure the benefit amount.

Here's how we average those earnings and how we use the formula to calculate your monthly payment. 

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