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Social Security Disability Benefits Amounts

Whats My Social Security Disability Benefit Amount


How much will you receive every month as your Social Security Disability benefit payment? That is often the first and most pressing question people want to be answered when they begin the process of applying for SSD benefits.

The Clauson Law Firm is dedicated to keeping all our clients fully informed about every aspect of their SSD claim. That includes explaining how the amount of your monthly SSD benefit payment is determined. If you have any questions about SSD benefits or SSI benefits, contact Clauson Law immediately for a free review of your case and to get all the answers you need.

As we explain in this blog post, the number of years an SSD claimant worked and their average earnings over those years will determine the amount of their SSD monthly benefit amount.

Estimating Your Social Security Disability Amount

In 2022, the average SSDI payment for an individual is $1,358, but almost two-thirds of SSDI recipients receive less than that. And only 10% of SSDI recipients receive $2,000 per month or more.

The 2022 average monthly benefit for an SSDI recipient who has a spouse and children is $2,383.

Because benefit amounts depend on lifetime earnings, there’s a large range in how much Social Security pays. For instance, let’s look at age 55, the most common age disabilities start. For 55-year-olds who have worked their entire lives, Social Security typically pays $1,000 to $2,700. The benefits pay chart here shows you the ranges based on income.

Within those ranges, the amount you’ll receive will depend on the following:

  • your average income over 35 years
  • whether you paid self-employment taxes if you owned your own business or freelanced
  • whether you worked in any jobs that didn’t pay into the Social Security system , and
  • whether you took any years off work for child-rearing or long-term illness.

How Ssd Uses Your Lifetime Average Monthly Earnings

The purpose of SSD benefits is to serve as a partial replacement for the wages a worker is unable to earn because of their disability. Replacing the earnings for each disabled worker in proportion to their typical income requires the Social Security Administration to look for the 35 highest income earning years you had during your working life.

Only taxable income reported to the IRS is used in the benefit determination formula. Unreported income and income you claimed as tax-exempt will not be counted.

Indexing: The highest 35 yearly incomes you earned are first indexed, a process the SSA uses to adjust each years income so it remains proportionate to that years national average annual income. This indexing exercise ensures that the increased cost of living over those 35 years is accounted for. A dollar you earned in 1980 doesnt equal its value to a consumer in 2022.

Averaging Your Monthly Income: Your 35 highest yearly indexed annual incomes are selected and then added together, divided by 35, then divided by 12. The result is the Average Indexed Monthly Income .

The SSA takes your Average Indexed Monthly Income , which is obtained when they averaged 35 years of your income and plugged it into a formula the government uses to determine everyones SSD benefit amount. This formula produces a different result for everyone because every workers AIME is unique.

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Earn Ssa Work Credits In Some Countries

You may not have enough credits from your work in the United States to qualify for retirement benefits. But, you may be able to count your work credits from another country. The SSA has agreements with 24 countries. If you earned credits in one of those countries, they can help you qualify for U.S. benefits.

Other Income That May Reduce Ssdi Payments

Ssdi Child Benefits Back Pay

Bear in mind that if you receive other government benefits, such as state disability benefits or workers’ compensation, your monthly SSDI benefit could be reduced. Private disability benefits such as payouts from personal insurance do not reduce your SSDI benefits.

When you reach full retirement age, currently 66 and 4 months for people born in 1956 and is gradually rising to 67, your disability benefit converts to a retirement benefit, usually at the same amount.

Social Security benefits are indexed, which means that they are modified each year to account for inflation using the Social Security’s cost-of-living adjustment .

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What Happens To My Disability Benefits When I Reach Retirement Age

Once you successfully get approved for disability benefits, your monthly benefits should stay the same unless your disability improves, you start engaging in Substantial Gainful Employment , or you have a spouse whose income surpasses SSDI threshold levels. You can even continue to work part-time on disability or try out other options like a trial work period to see if youre able to fully transition back into the workforce.

Making the switch from receiving disability payments to retirement benefits is simplebecause for most beneficiaries, their monthly benefit stays exactly the same. This is because the SSA calculates your SSDI benefits as though you have already reached full retirement age, which is equal to 100% of your maximum benefit based on your lifetime earnings.

Should You Claim Early Retirement Instead Of Social Security Disability

If you are considering filing a claim for Social Security Retirement benefits early because you are too ill or injured to continue working, DO NOT FILE for early retirement until you speak with an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer who specializes in counseling people in your circumstances.

Early retirement, that is filing for Soc. Sec. retirement benefits at age 62 or before your full retirement age, will permanently reduce your Soc. Sec. retirement benefits by up to a full 30%.

The governments financial projections for the SSD programs continued solvency do not anticipate paying out retirement benefits earlier than they are scheduled.

But, if you have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that prevents you from performing a substantial gainful activity, and that impairment has or is expected to last for 12 months or longer, your condition probably qualifies you to receive Social Security Disability benefits equal to 100 percent of your Soc. Sec. retirement benefit.

Contact one of our many locations in North Carolina and let one of Clauson Laws disability law experts answer your questions and advise you about your rights to SSDI benefits.

Filing for Social Security Disability After You Take Early Retirement

Contact Clauson Law for All the Information You Need Free Case Review Always

The Clauson Law Firm has extensive experience representing SSD and SSI claimants from North Carolina and from around the United States.

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How Can The Social Security Disability Programs Be Improved To Increase Economic Security And Work Opportunities For Beneficiaries

Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security increase economic security for millions of disabled workers. For beneficiaries whose conditions improve, the programs also provide important incentives and supports for returning to work. Still, the programs could be further strengthened to increase disabled workers economic security and provide a more seamless transition for those who are able to return to work.

Modernize Supplemental Security

The value of Supplemental Security benefits has eroded considerably since the programs inception in 1972, as the programs income exclusions and asset limits have not kept pace with inflation and living standards. The current maximum benefit is equivalent to just three-quarters of the also-outdated federal poverty line for a single person. The general income exclusion and earned income exclusion have never been increased. To address this erosion, H.R. 1601, the Supplemental Security Restoration Act, sponsored by Rep. Raul Grijalva and introduced in Congress in April 2013, would increase the monthly maximum benefit to $937, which is 100 percent of the current federal poverty line, and would increase the general income disregard to $110 per month and the earned income disregard to $357 a month. Increasing the income exclusions and indexing them to inflation going forward would restore the monthly benefit amount to its intended value and significantly increase beneficiaries economic security.

Other Ways You Can Apply


Apply With Your Local Office

You can do most of your business with Social Security online. If you cannot use these online services, your local Social Security office can help you apply. You can find the phone number for your local office by using our Office Locator and looking under Social Security Office Information. The toll-free Office number is your local office.

Apply By Phone

If You Do Not Live in the U.S. Or One of Its Territories

Contact the if you live outside the U.S. or a U.S. territory and wish to apply for retirement benefits.

Mailing Your Documents

If you mail any documents to us, you must include the Social Security number so that we can match them with the correct application. Do not write anything on the original documents. Please write the Social Security number on a separate sheet of paper and include it in the mailing envelope along with the documents.

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Applying For Social Security Disability Benefits With Heart Failure

Social Security Disability benefits can provide an individual who is suffering from heart failure with a monthly income as well as medical insurance to cover medical expenses.

When an individual suffers from heart failure, it can be impossible to maintain a full time job. Working a job with heart failure can be dangerous, yet the lack of income caused by an inability to work can result in significant financial stress. While it may seem like a vicious cycle, the good news is that Social Security Disability benefits may be the solution to this problem. Social Security Disability benefits can provide an individual who is suffering from heart failure with a monthly income as well as medical insurance to cover medical expenses.

How To Stop Social Security Check Payments

The SSA can not pay benefits for the month of a recipients death. That means if the person died in July, the check received in August must be returned. Find out how to return a check to the SSA.

If the payment is by direct deposit, notify the financial institution as soon as possible so it can return any payments received after death. For more about the requirement to return benefits for the month of a beneficiarys death, see the top of page 11 of this SSA publication.

Family members may be eligible for Social Security survivors benefits when a person getting benefits dies. Visit the SSA’s Survivors Benefits page to learn more.

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The Social Security Act Defines Disability Very Strictly

Eligibility rules for Social Security’s disability program differ from those of private plans or other government agencies. Social Security doesn’t provide temporary or partial disability benefits, like workers’ compensation or veterans’ benefits do.

To receive disability benefits, a person must meet the definition of disability under the Social Security Act . A person is disabled under the Act if they can’t work due to a severe medical condition that has lasted, or is expected to last, at least one year or result in death. The person’s medical condition must prevent them from doing work that they did in the past, and it must prevent them from adjusting to other work.

Because the Act defines disability so strictly, Social Security disability beneficiaries are among the most severely impaired in the country. In fact, Social Security disability beneficiaries are more than three times as likely to die in a year as other people the same age. Among those who start receiving disability benefits at the age of 55, 1-in-6 men and 1-in-8 women die within five years of the onset of their disabilities.

Qualifying For Ssi And Ssdi

How to Read Your Social Security Disability Statement

The Social Security Administration operates two disability programs including Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance . Each of these programs has its own criteria that an applicant must meet in order to qualify.

To qualify for SSDI benefits, an applicant must have earned enough work credits through prior work history. As of 2014, for every $1,200 earned, a worker earns one work credits and can earn a total of four work credits each year. The number of credits needed to qualify for SSDI benefits will vary depending on your age.

Unlike SSDI benefits, an applicant does not need any work history or work credits to qualify for SSI benefits. Instead, SSI is a needs-based program. Benefit eligibility is based on household income and assets. As of 2014, an individual cannot have a household income of more than $721 per month as an individual or $1,082 per month as a couple or household assets exceeding $2,000 as an individual or $3,000 for a couple in order to qualify for SSI benefits.

For both SSDI and SSI benefits, an individual must meet the medical criteria set forth by the SSA to qualify.

For more information on the disability programs visit:

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Getting Help From A Social Security Disability Lawyer

NY Disability provides outstanding advice and representation in all matters related to Social Security disability, including applications. When an unfavorable determination affects a claimantâs benefits, an SSD lawyer is available to challenge it through the appeal process. Learn more about your benefits by speaking to a Social Security disability lawyer today during a free consultation.

How Do You Qualify For Disability Benefits

To qualify for benefits, you must have a medical condition that meets the SSAs definition of disability. The organization considers you disabled if:

  • Your medical condition prevents you from working as you once did and
  • You cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition and
  • Your disability is expected to last for at least one year or result in death.

In addition, you need to meet the technical requirements for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income benefits.

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How Are Monthly Ssi Payments Determined

The monthly payment is shown in the Social Security disability pay chart for 2021 is the maximum an individual or a couple may receive, but your payment may be less. The reason has to do with income limits placed on SSI recipients.

If you have earnings from a job or other sources of income, it may be deducted from the maximum monthly benefit as shown in the pay chart and result in a reduced payment to you. However, SSI does not count all income. Some examples of income that is not countable against you include the following:

  • The first $20 a month of earned or unearned income.
  • The first $65 of earned monthly income, such as from working at a job.
  • One-half of the balance remaining of earned income after deducting the first $65 and, if you did not have other earned or unearned income in a month, the $20 exclusion.

The monthly SSI benefit will be reduced by the countable income that you receive. If you are younger than 22-years-old and a student, you may qualify to exclude up to $1,930 of monthly income earned from working. The annual maximum exclusion for a student is $7,770, so anything earned more than that would be deducted from the maximum monthly benefit as shown in the disability benefits chart. Talk to your SSD lawyer if you believe you or your child qualify for the student exclusion.

Minimum Social Security Benefit At Age 62

SSDI, SSI & Retirement | Social Security Disability Insurance & Supplemental Income | theSITREP

While the average Social Security income in 2022 is $1,657 per month, many people receive much less than this. So, what is the lowest amount that you can receive at age 62? As we previously mentioned, waiting past full retirement age will not increase your payment amount if you are receiving the Special Minimum Benefit. However, starting your benefits early will still decrease the amount you receive. For someone who only paid Social Security taxes for 11 years at a low-wage job or perhaps only worked part-time, they could receive as little as $31.85 per month. Remember that the amount they would receive by performing the benefit calculation using their average wages would likely be even less.

For a person who has a full 30 years of earned income, the amount they receive looks much better. While it is still below the poverty line, it is exponentially higher than someone with only 11 years of work history. For a worker with 30 years of coverage, the minimum payment at age 62 would be $665.56. This amount increases to $950.80 if that person can wait until full retirement age to start benefits. Again, the benefit payment for this worker would be calculated using both benefit formulas, and he would automatically receive the higher of the two.

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What Is The Difference Between Ssi And Ssdi

Both SSI and SSDI provide income for those in need. However, each program has different requirements. According to the Georgia Department of Public Health , SSI pays disability benefits to:

  • Disabled adults with low income and few assets
  • Disabled children with low income and assets
  • Adults age 65 and older who meet certain financial requirements

Those on SSI would have difficulty paying for necessary living costs without benefits. SSI benefits depend on financial needs and disabilities. If you apply for SSI, the SSA will look at your earned income and assets. It will also see if you have a medical condition that will last for at least 12 months.

SSDI is only available to those who have paid into Social Security taxes. If you earned wages or self-employment income, you have probably contributed to Social Security. If you have enough work credits from paying into taxes, you might be eligible for SSDI benefits.

Like SSI, you must have a disabling condition to qualify for SSDI. The severity of your condition does not determine how much SSI or SSDI pays.

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