Social Security beneficiaries received a 1.5 percent cost-of-living raise in 2014, bringing the average monthly benefit to $1,294 for individual workers and $2,111 for couples. The actual monthly benefit is based on how much income individuals earned before retirement, although Social Security sets a cap on the maximum monthly benefit.
The maximum monthly Social Security benefit in 2014 was $2,642. Beneficiaries who work before they reach their full Social Security retirement age sometimes experience a decrease in benefits, depending on how much they earn. In 2014, beneficiaries experienced a decrease of $1 in benefits for every $2 they earned above the limit of $15,480 a year.