In 2014, the total monthly earnings limit for an individual receiving Social Security benefits was $2,000, while a couple could earn up to $3,000. For individuals, up to $721 of that sum could have been from the benefit itself, while the maximum benefit for couples was $1,082.
These limits and rates apply only to individuals who are of legal retirement age. If a person is below the legal retirement age, he can earn more than the limit without incurring legal penalties. However, the Social Security Administration withholds a certain amount of the individual's benefit based on how much he earns in excess of the limit. Upon reaching retirement age, the individual must comply with the same earnings limit as everyone else.