SSD Benefits Amount
When your Social Security Disability claim is approved, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will send a letter informing you that your application is approved, the amount of your monthly benefit, and the effective date of your benefits.
Your monthly Social Security Disability benefits amount is based on your average lifetime earnings if you applied for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). However, it will be based on need if you applied for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
In both federal programs, the amount of your monthly payment will be affected by various factors, such as receiving disability payments from other sources. Read on for more information about how this is determined.
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SSDI: Amount of Potential SSDI Benefits If Approved
The amount of your SSDI benefit will be based on the wages that you paid in Social Security taxes before becoming disabled. You can calculate what your monthly disability benefit amount may be for SSDI using the SSA formula or the calculator on their website.
The SSA uses the Average Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME) to calculate the Primary Insurance Amount (PIA), which is used to determine your benefits.
– AIME is used to estimate a lifetime of earnings using today’s wage levels as a point of reference. The AIME takes into consideration 35 years of an individual’s highest earnings up to age 60. If you do not have 35 years of work history, the years taken into consideration are the years between the time you turned 21 and became disabled.
To reach your AIME figure, the earnings are added together, divided by the total number of months for those years, and then the total rounded is rounded down.
– PIA is the base amount of your benefits. It is the sum of three fixed percentages — 90%, 32%, and 15% — of your AIME. The dollar amounts that result from the calculation are known as bend points, which represent the base amount of your benefits, and change each year to reflect the national average wage index.
In 2020, most SSDI recipients receive between $800 and $1,800 per month with the average being $1,258 and a maximum of $3,011. You can check your statement online at the SSA website to find out your entire covered earnings history.
The SSA also provides an online calculator, where you can enter your complete earnings history to calculate an estimate of your monthly disability benefits. There is also a detailed calculator that requires more information to give you a better approximate estimate of your monthly disability benefits and can even compute historical and future benefits estimates.
The calculators regularly match the official calculations, but there is a probability they display results that are different from an official calculation generated by the SSA.
Which Payments Could Affect My Monthly Benefits?
When approved for SSDI benefits, your monthly benefit payment could be affected by other payments you are receiving. If you are receiving other government benefits, including those from a foreign country, the amount of your Social Security Disability benefits may be affected.
Public disability payments that could affect your Social Security benefit are those paid for disabling medical conditions that are not job-related paid by a federal, state, or local government. Examples include:
- Civil service disability benefits
- State temporary disability benefits
- State government retirement benefits based on disability
- Local government retirement benefits based on disability
Another benefit that could affect your Social Security disability benefits amount is workers’ compensation, whether you receive a monthly benefit or a lump-sum payment.
If you are receiving Social Security Disability benefits and any public disability benefits or workers’ compensation, the total amount of these benefits cannot exceed 80 percent of your average current earnings before you become disabled.
In the instance that the total amount of these benefits exceeds 80 percent of your average current earnings, the excess amount will be deducted from your Social Security benefit. Consider this example:
- Your average earnings were $4,200 a month before you became disabled.
- 80% of your average current earnings is $3,360.
- You were eligible to receive a total of $2,310/month in disability benefits.
- You also receive $1,500 a month from workers’ compensation.
- The total amount of benefits you receive is $3,810 which is more than $3,360.
- Social Security benefits will be reduced by $840 ($4,200 – $3,360).
- New payment Social Security disability benefits would be $1,470.
Your benefits will continue to be reduced until you reach your full retirement age and begin collecting Social Security retirement benefits instead of SSDI.
Need help with your SSDI benefits? Contact us today to find out how we can help!
SSI: Current Federal Payment Amounts
SSI payments are not based on past earnings. Instead, the SSI benefit amount is a set rate. These amounts are set each year and are determined based on the average wage index and cost-of-living adjustments.
The Federal Benefit Rates (FBR) for 2020 are $783 for an eligible individual, $1,175 for a couple (you and your spouse are both eligible for SSI benefits), and $392 for an essential person (generally, a child).
Each person receiving SSI benefits receives the same base amount. However, some states supplement these benefits, and earned income can change these amounts. For example, the amount of SSI disability benefits that you receive will be different if:
- You have any countable income
- Your state pays a state supplement
- You receive free food or shelter
Income is considered monthly and can include anything you receive to meet your needs for food and shelter. According to the SSA definitions, “cash” is the actual money you receive through work or self-employment. “In-kind” is not cash, but it can be food or shelter that is provided to you or something that you can use to access food or shelter.
Each month, your countable income is determined after disregarding the first $65 and one-half of the remaining income that you earn every month. SSA subtracts your countable income from the FBR to determine your eligibility and to compute your monthly payment amount.
Contact A Disability Representative For Assistance
You may have questions about the SSDI and SSI calculations. We encourage you to reach out to us to help determine whether you are receiving the full Social Security disability benefits amount you are eligible for each month.
At Crest SSD, we are a team of experienced Social Security Disability benefits representatives. Disability benefits is all we do and we do not get paid unless you win your claim. If you have questions about your current claim, or if you wish to speak with one of our representatives about starting a claim for a loved one, please fill out this form or call us today at the number above!