WHAT IS THE AMOUNT OF MY SSDI BENEFIT?
Do you wonder what monthly amount your SSDI benefit will be? Do you wonder how you can calculate your disability benefit payment? Then, you have come to the right place. Because we have answers to your questions.
If you are eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefit payments, then the amount you will receive each month depends on your average lifetime earnings.
Unlike Worker’s Compensation benefits, your SSD payment is not based on a percentage of your disability. Additionally, the amount of your monthly benefit is also not based on how much money you have saved in the bank. Instead, your past earnings are the key factor in how much money you will receive each month.
Because your monthly benefit amount is based on your past earnings, everyone’s benefit amount is different. Keep in mind that no matter what the amount of your SSDI benefits is, you must first be eligible for disability benefits to receive the money.
In order to be eligible for disability benefits, you must have a severe physical or mental condition that prevents you from working for more than 12 months. Find out more about how to apply for disability benefits here.
THE AVERAGE AMOUNT OF SSDI BENEFITS
Most people who receive SSDI benefits get between $800 and $1,800 per month (the average benefit for 2022 is $1,358). However, if you are receiving disability payments from other sources, your SSDI payment could be lower.
In 2020, the maximum monthly SSDI benefit you could receive was $3,011 per month. In 2021, the maximum payment went up to $3148. This year, in 2022, the maximum benefit a worker can receive in monthly disability payments is $3345. Most people do not receive the maximum SSD payment. Instead, they receive an amount between $800 per month and $1800 per month, because most people have average earnings.
The amount of SSDI money you will receive from Social Security on a monthly basis is unique for every individual. This is due to the fact that the Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a complex weighted formula in order to calculate benefits for each person.
Social Security bases your retirement and SSDI benefit payment on the amount of income on which you’ve paid Social Security taxes. SSA calls this “covered earnings.” Your average covered earnings over a period of years is known as your average indexed monthly earnings (AIME). Keep in mind that the amount of SSD does not vary by state.
A formula is applied to your AIME to calculate your primary insurance amount (PIA), which is the base of your monthly benefit. The formula consists of fixed percentages of different amounts of income. This adjusts each year. For example, in 2021, 90% of the first $996 of your AIME is added to your PIA, plus 32% of your AIME from $996 to $6,002, plus 15% of your AIME over $6,002. These amounts are added up to come up with your monthly benefit amount. If this seems confusing, that is because it is.
What you need to know is the more money you make when you are working, the more your monthly benefit payment will be. Also, if you do not return to work, your disability benefit will not change over time. However, your SSD benefit will become your retirement benefit at full retirement age.
Be Aware That Other Income May Reduce the Amount of Your SSDI Payment
If you receive other government benefits, you could see a reduction in your monthly SSDI benefit. For example, income sources that could affect your monthly SSD payment include:
- Worker’s compensation benefits
- Public disability benefits
- Pension payments based on work not covered by Social Security. For example, if your past work was for the government or you were a federal employee.
- Foreign government pensions
Some people on SSI benefits have other sources of money. You could have some earnings from work. Or, as listed above, you could have other benefits. SSI has rules about how much of your other income Social Security expects you to spend on your basic needs. The part of your monthly income that SSI expects you to spend on basic needs is what SSA calls your “countable income.” Not all of your income is countable income.
You can find out more about Workers’ Compensation offset provisions here. It is important for you to understand what will happen to your SSD benefit is you also receive Workers’ Compensation.
CALCULATE THE AMOUNT OF YOUR SSDI PAYMENT ONLINE
To see your entire earnings history, you can check your annual Social Security Statement. You can check your statement online at Social Security’s website under My Account.
If you want to enter salary information yourself, rather than rely on your earnings record and Social Security’s estimate of your future earnings, you can do so. Just use the SSA’s online benefits calculator that is found on their website.
You can also call your local Social Security office and a field worker will be able to help you estimate what your monthly benefit payment would be. It may take a long time to request help on the phone. We recommend you check your disability payment amount online on SSA’s website. You can also figure out if you are eligible for retroactive benefits.
MONTHLY SSI PAYMENTS ARE A DIFFERENT STORY
Do you wonder how SSA sets the amount of monthly SSI benefits? The answer is the government sets the monthly amount of SSI benefits based upon the state you live in. Your SSI payments, unlike SSDI, are dependent on any household income and your assets.
Additionally, your state can choose to add money to your monthly benefit amount. The monthly maximum Federal amount of SSI for 2022 is $841 for an eligible individual. The SSI amount for 2022 for an eligible individual with an eligible spouse is $1,261. Your final monthly SSI amount may be more if your state has a high cost of living.
In general, monthly amounts for the next year are set by increasing the unrounded annual amounts for the current year by the COLA effective for January of the next year. Your state, like Utah or Nevada, may also contribute to raise the monthly SSI amount.
If your state does give you more SSI money, it is usually because the cost of living is higher in your state. For example, the maximum SSI amount in California is $1040, but in Utah the maximum SSI amount is $841. However, the cost of living in Utah is lower than in California.
HOW THE SSA EXAMINES YOUR INCOME
In order to determine your monthly SSI amount, the SSA will look at two different kinds of possible income: earned income and unearned income.
Earned income is money you get from any work you do. It includes your salary. It also includes any wages, tips, bonuses, or other payment amounts you get in exchange for any work you do.
When figuring out your monthly SSI benefit, the SSA will look at your gross earned income. Your gross earned income is your monthly wage before taxes are deducted. If you’re self-employed, then you subtract your work expenses before reporting your earned income.
Unearned income is money you receive for which you did not work. Sounds good, right? Examples of unearned income include disability benefits, like such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). It also includes short-term and long-term disability insurance benefits, Veterans benefits, or Workers’ Compensation benefits. Other sources of unearned income are monty from a trust or investments, dividends, profits, or any money from a source other than work.
Possible Payment Reduction with SSI benefits
The monthly amount of SSI is reduced by subtracting any countable income you may have. In the case of an eligible individual with an eligible spouse, the payable amount is divided equally between the two spouses.
The SSI benefit amount cannot change, unless your income or assets change. If you have a change in income, such as you stop receiving child support payments or welfare payments, then you should contact the SSA. It is possible that these changes could effect the amount of money you receive from SSI on a monthly basis.
FIND A DISABILITY LAWYER WITH EXPERIENCE
If you want legal representation in your disability case, hire Cannon Disability Law. We can explain your SSDI benefits to you. You need to know how much money you will receive every month. You need to understand how SSDI and SSI benefits work.
Also, you need to know what the most important issues are in your case. That is why you hire a lawyer with the skills to help you. Find out more about the Cannon Disability Law’s lawyers and staff on our About Us Page.
If you don’t hire an attorney, there is a good chance you will not win your case. Don’t take that chance. Hire us. We have the legal experience you need to win your case. At our law office, we help our clients file their SSD and SSI applications. We also appeal all denials. If you need information about how to appeal an SSA denial, then read here.
Additionally, we will request your hearing for you. Then, we represent you at your Social Security hearing. In the last 30 years, we have won over 20,000 SSD and SSI cases for our clients. If you contact us today, we can help you too. We offer a free review of your case. Call and ask us any questions you have about the amount your monthly SSDI benefit.