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For The Disabled The Social Security Administration Runs Two Programs That Provide Financial Support With Differing Levels Of Payments For Recipients


Established in 1935, the Social Security Administration, established to create a more coherent system out of the patchwork that existed prior to prevent financial hardship for those who could no longer work, didnt originally cover disabilities. It wasnt until just over 20 years later that the first workers, those 50 until retirement age, were covered by the agency for situations that rendered them unable to continue working.

It would take almost another 20 years to expand coverage to younger recipients, families and for disabilities to those who were left out by the parameters of Social Security Disability Insurance . As well, was born Supplemental Security Income program which targets eligible persons who have limited income and resources and who are disabled, blind, or aged 65 or older.

Adults With A Disability That Began Before Age 22

An adult who has a disability that began before age 22 may be eligible for benefits if their parent is deceased or starts receiving retirement or disability benefits. We consider this a “child’s” benefit because it is paid on a parent’s Social Security earnings record.

The Disabled Adult Child who may be an adopted child, or, in some cases, a stepchild, grandchild, or step grandchild must be unmarried, age 18 or older, have a qualified disability that started before age 22, and meet the definition of disability for adults.


It is not necessary that the DAC ever worked. Benefits are paid based on the parent’s earnings record.

  • A DAC must not have substantial earnings. The amount of earnings we consider substantial increases each year. In 2022, this means working and earning more than $1,350 a month.

Working While Disabled: How We Can Help

How Has The Covid

Working people with disabilities experience disproportionate job loss, compared to workers without disabilities, during economic downturns,39 and SSI applications generally increase when the unemployment rate increases . This trend held during the Great Recession and subsequent economic recovery.40 One exception to the general trend is the period from 2003 to 2007, when SSI applications continued to rise despite falling unemployment.41 Possible explanations for this anomaly include factors such as the lagged effect of federal welfare reform leading TANF enrollees to switch to SSI and persistently high poverty rates.42 The same study also found that the likelihood of applying for SSI significantly increases during extended periods of high unemployment.43

Figure 7: Percent change in SSI Applications Filed by Adults Ages 18-64 and U.S. Unemployment Rates, 1991-2019

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Other Income That May Reduce Ssdi Payments

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 .

What Are Social Security Disability Benefits

Does Disability Pay More than Social Security?

Social Security disability benefits come from payroll deductions required by the Federal Insurance Contributions Act to cover the cost of Social Security benefits, such as retirement and spousal and survivor benefits. Some of this funding goes into the Disability Insurance Trust Fund and pays for disability benefits.

According to the Social Security website, to qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you must have worked a certain length of time in jobs covered by Social Security. Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the past 10 years, ending with the year you became disabled. You must also have a medical condition that meets Social Securitys definition of disability.

Younger workers might qualify with fewer credits.

SSDI should not be confused with Supplemental Security Income , which pays benefits to those who have financial needs regardless of their work history. Although these two names sound similar, the qualifications to get the payments and what you might receive are very different.

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Workers Earn Ssdi Benefits Through Work

SSDI protects over 156 million workers. To become eligible for benefits, beneficiaries must meet stringent criteria:

  • Insured status. Beneficiaries must be both fully insured, meaning they have worked for at least one-fourth of their adult lives, and disability insured, meaning they have worked in at least five of the last ten years.
  • Severe impairment. Beneficiaries must suffer from a severe, medically determinable physical or mental impairment that has lasted for five months and is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death.
  • Inability to perform substantial work. Beneficiaries physical or mental impairments must render them unable to do their own past work and unable considering age, education, and work experience to do any other kind of substantial work. Substantial work, in 2022, means earnings of $1,350 a month , which is about 40 percent of the median earnings of a full-time worker with a high school diploma but no college.

Social Security Disability Insurance provides modest but vital benefits to workers who can no longer support themselves due to a severe and long-lasting medical impairment.

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Calculating Benefit Payment Amounts

Your Weekly Benefit Amount depends on your annual income. It is estimated as 60 to 70 percent of the wages you earned 5 to 18 months before your claim start date and up to the maximum WBA.

Note: Your claim start date is the date your disability begins.

We will calculate your WBA using a base period. To receive these benefits, you must have paid into State Disability Insurance during your base period and meet eligibility requirements. You will see this listed as CASDI on your paystub.

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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.

Family Members Eligible For Social Security Benefits

What is the Maximum Amount I Can Receive in Social Security Disability Benefits in 2020?

The following family members may be eligible for benefits:

  • A spouse who is caring for a child of the disabled worker who is under age sixteen, or for a disabled child any age, will be eligible for benefits at any age.
  • A spouse is eligible for benefits based on the other spouse’s earnings record if he or she is at least 62 years old or older.
  • An ex-spouse may be entitled to benefits on the former spouse’s earnings record if the marriage lasted at least ten years prior to the divorce, the applicant is at least 62 years old and unmarried and not eligible for a higher payment based on his own earnings record.
  • A biological child or adopted child or stepchild of a disabled worker may be eligible for benefits based on the parent’s earnings record if unmarried and under age 18 .
  • A parent who is 62 years old or older, unmarried, and financially dependent on the disabled worker, if the worker has passed away.

For more information on eligibility, see our article How to Get Disability Benefits for Your Dependents.

You could be eligible for up to $3,148 per month in SSDI benefits

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Additional And Supplementary Payments

Rent Assistance

Income support recipients who are classed as non-homeowners and pay more than a required amount of board or rent for accommodation are eligible for Rent Assistance payments. This payment is paid as part of the income support payment. Verification of the rent details is required, either a lease or by completing a Rent Certificate every six months. The amount of rent assistance a recipient is eligible for depends on the amount of rent one is paying. The basic rate for a single person with no children and not sharing accommodation is as follows. As at 28 January 2010, Rent Assistance begins to be paid when a renters fortnightly rent is in excess of A$99.40. For every dollar in excess of this amount, Rent Assistance pays A$0.75, up to a maximum of A$111.80 per fortnight. The maximum amount payable is lower for those sharing accommodation, in which case it is A$74.53. Different rates apply to couples, couples separated by illness, couples temporarily separated and singles and couples with dependent children. An example of an income support payment is the Newstart Allowance which comprises a base rate plus rent assistance. An income support payment is an umbrella term which is sometimes used instead of detailing the name of the particular payment. It does not represent a payment of its own but could mean any one of Centrelinks welfare payments, e.g. the Newstart Allowance is an income support payment.

Pharmaceutical Allowance

What Are The Maximum Social Security Disability Benefits

The monthly benefits issued for 2022 include:

  • The current maximum Supplemental Security Income for an individual is $841 per month.
  • The current maximum amount for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits is $3,148 per month.
  • The average disability payment for a disabled worker receiving SSDI is $1,358 per month.

: Investopedia

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Can You Work While On Disability

The SSA has specific rules regarding your ability to work while on disability, although it should be noted that people on SSDI are initially approved because they are truly unable to work for a variety of reasons.

Since many people with disabilities would prefer to work rather than receive benefits, the SSA will allow a nine-month Trial Work Period to determine if your earnings are substantial. A trial work month is any month where earnings exceed $970, and the trial work period continues until you have nine cumulative trial work months within a 60-month period.

After your trial work period, your benefits will stop if Social Security considers your earnings substantial. In 2022, Social Security considers your earnings substantial if you earn more than $1,350 per month over the following 36 months. At that income level, youre considered able enough to gainfully work and will no longer receive cash payments. This is sometimes referred to as substantial gainful activity, or SGA.

Remember that if you do decide to go back to work — or if your medical condition has improved — you must alert the SSA. While you can earn minimal income while receiving SSDI payments, earning more than the $970 monthly threshold will lead to a more thorough review of your circumstances.

Social Security Disability Benefits Pay Chart 2022

Maximum Security: Social Security Maximum Benefits Tables

Social Security disability payments increased by 5.9% in 2022. See how much you can earn in this Social Security Disability Benefits Pay Chart guide.

The Social Security disability benefits pay chart applies only to payments through the SSI program. It does not apply if the benefits you receive are through the Social Security Disability Insurance program.

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Calculating The Maximum Family Benefit

The maximum family benefit is different in each case, but the total for the whole family, including the disabled person’s monthly benefit, is typically 150% to 180% of the disabled person’s disability benefit amount.

There are three rules from the Social Security Administration that govern the amount of the maximum family benefit :

  • The MFB can be no higher than 85% of the disabled family member’s average indexed monthly earnings , which you can find out from the SSA.
  • The MFB cannot fall below the disabled family member’s primary insurance amount .
  • The MFB cannot exceed 150% of the disabled family member’s PIA.

These rules may seem complicated and contradictory if so, here’s a simpler way to think about it: The maximum family benefit is the smaller of 85% of the disabled family member’s AIME or 150% of the disabled family member’s PIA.

No Limits On Unearned Income And Assets

A person collecting SSDI can have any amount of assets and any amount of income from investments, interest, or a spouse’s income. These are all types of “unearned income.” You can have an unlimited amount of unearned income. Unearned income includes:

  • interest income
  • unemployment benefits, and
  • cash or gifts from friends and relatives.

Any type of gifts, even expensive ones, doesn’t affect SSDI benefits at all. You don’t have to report them to the SSA as income.

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Estimating Your Ssdi Benefit Amount

Your SSDI payment will be based on your average covered earnings over a period of years. The SSA calls this your “average indexed monthly earnings” . A formula is then applied to your AIME to calculate your primary insurance amount the base figure the SSA uses in setting your actual benefit amount.

For example, someone in their fifties whose income averaged $100,000 for the past few years might expect a disability payment of $2,500 per month. Someone in their fifties who made $60,000 per year might expect a disability payment of $2,000 per month.

You can check your annual Social Security Statement to see your covered earnings history. You’ll need to set up an account to see your statement online at my Social Security. You can also use theSSA’s benefits calculator to estimate the amount of your disability benefits. Or, call your local Social Security office, and they can help you estimate what your benefits would be.

Information You Need To Apply


Before applying, be ready to provide information about yourself, your medical condition, and your work. We recommend you print and review the . It will help you gather the information you need to complete the application.

Information About You

  • Your date and place of birth and Social Security number.
  • The name, Social Security number, and date of birth or age of your current spouse and any former spouse. You should also know the dates and places of marriage and dates of divorce or death .
  • Names and dates of birth of children not yet 18 years of age.
  • Your bank or other and the account number.

Information About Your Medical Condition

  • Name, address, and phone number of someone we can contact who knows about your medical conditions and can help with your application.
  • Detailed information about your medical illnesses, injuries, or conditions:
  • Names, addresses, phone numbers, patient ID numbers, and dates of treatment for all doctors, hospitals, and clinics.
  • Names of medicines, the amount you are taking, and who prescribed them.
  • Names and dates of medical tests you have had and who ordered them.

Information About Your Work:

  • Award letters, pay stubs, settlement agreements, or other .

We accept photocopies of W-2 forms, self-employment tax returns, and medical documents, but we must see the originals of most other documents, such as your birth certificate.

Do not delay applying for benefits because you do not have all the documents. We will help you get them.

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How Much Money Will I Get From Social Security For My Disability

When I meet with potential clients, one of the questions I am often asked is How much I am going to get from Social Security for my disability?

Most clients need to know what their Social Security benefit amount will be. Heres my lawyer answer – It depends.

How much money you get on disability will depend on a number of things. These things include:

  • If SSDI, how much did you earn and pay in taxes?
  • If SSDI, do you have dependent children?
  • If SSI, do you have any other income?
  • If SSI, are you receiving room and board for free from family or friends?

A New Tax System Act 1999

Payments made under the A New Tax System Act 1999 include:

  • Family Tax Benefit Part A â for parents or carers to help with the cost of raising children.
  • Family Tax Benefit Part B â for single income families or sole parents.
  • Maternity Immunisation Allowance â for fully immunised children or those exempt from immunisation
  • Child Care Benefit â for families to help with the cost of child care.
  • Schoolkids Bonus for families for the cost of education for children in primary and secondary school.

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Benefits For Your Children

When you qualify for Social Security disability benefits, your children may also qualify to receive benefits on your record. Your eligible child can be your biological child, adopted child, or stepchild. A dependent grandchild may also qualify.

To receive benefits, the child must:

  • Be under age 18 or
  • Be 18-19 years old and a full-time student or

The Basics About Disability Benefits

Why Getting Social Security

The SSDI program pays benefits to you and certain if you are insured. This means that you worked long enough and recently enough – and paid Social Security taxes on your earnings. The SSI program pays benefits to adults and children who meet our requirements for a qualifying disability and have limited income and resources.

While these two programs are different, the medical requirements are the same. If you meet the nonmedical requirements, monthly benefits are paid if you have a medical condition expected to last at least one year or result in death.

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