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What states pay the lowest Social Security?

Last updated: October 10, 2023

As an individual, understanding the nuances of Social Security payments is crucial. It not only provides a safety net for your retirement, but also directly affects your financial planning. Interestingly, not all states are equal when it comes to Social Security payments. 

This article aims to shed light on the states that pay the lowest Social Security in the United States.

The Concept Of Social Security

Before diving into the details, it's essential to briefly touch upon the concept of Social Security. Initiated in 1935, the Social Security program is a form of social insurance intended to provide monetary assistance to individuals in their retirement, those who are disabled, as well as families where a spouse or parent dies. Now that we've got the basics covered, let's move on to the main topic.

Factors Impacting Social Security Payments

Several factors can affect the amount of Social Security one can receive. This includes the state you live in, the cost of living in that state, and how that state taxes Social Security benefits. However, it's essential to remember that the amount of your Social Security benefits is primarily based on your lifetime earnings and not on where you live.

States With The Lowest Social Security Payments

According to the Social Security Administration, these are the states with the lowest average monthly Social Security benefit payments as of the latest data:


Louisiana holds the title for the lowest average Social Security payments in the country. The average monthly benefit here is significantly lower than the national average.


Next on the list is Mississippi. Similar to Louisiana, Mississippi's average monthly Social Security payments fall below the national average.

New Mexico

New Mexico also ranks among the states with the lowest average Social Security payments. The average benefit in New Mexico is slightly higher than in Louisiana and Mississippi but still considerably lower than the national average.


Arkansas is another state where average monthly Social Security benefits are lower than the national average.


Lastly, Alabama makes the list with its average monthly Social Security payments being lower than most states.

Why These States?

The primary reason why these states have the lowest average Social Security payments is the lower average wages earned by workers in these states during their working years. Since Social Security benefits are based on an individual's earning history, lower lifetime earnings will result in lower Social Security payments.

Compare Social Security Payments Across States

While it's intriguing to compare Social Security payments across states, remember that the most crucial factor influencing your Social Security benefits is your earnings during your working years. Therefore, planning and preparing for retirement should be an individual effort, irrespective of the state you reside in.

Learn more about why Social Security benefits may stop. Visit Disability Help today and explore our resources to get the answers you need.

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