What Will Social Security Disability Pay Me?

The amount paid by the Social Security Administration varies depending on your work status over the previous 10 years.

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Q:  What Will Social Security Disability Pay Me If I Am Approved?

Age 45, Pilot

The amount paid by the Social Security Administration varies depending on your work status over the previous 10 years.

A:  There are two different Social Security Disability programs that most people apply for. The two programs pay different amounts and these two disability programs also require two separate applications.  Make sure you apply for the right program.  Sometimes, it is best to apply for both to make sure you are covered.  You can only apply for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits or SSDI online.  So if you fill out an application online keep in mind you only applied for one program.  The online application does not cover Supplemental Security Income the program based on financial need.

The first program, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), pays varying amounts based on what you’ve paid into the disability system. Your earnings are taxed and a portion goes to essentially buy into a government run disability program that’s available to workers who need it. The higher your earnings over the years, the higher your disability benefit will be. In 2015, the highest monthly payment available is $2,663. There is a complicated formula used to determine what your monthly benefit payment will be.

Disability Insurance Benefits (SSDI) Monthly Awards

 Total NumberPercent
Less than $300.00308,7673%
$2,200.00 or more276,1002.70%
This table only shows benefits collected under the Disability Insurance Benefits program. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is not shown.

Social Security Disability pays a different amount depending on many different factors.

Think of SSDI like an insurance policy that you purchase through your payroll.  To be eligible for this policy usually you have to pay into the system for five years.  However,  your eligibility does not end when you stop paying into Social Security Disability Insurance through your paycheck.  It ends when the work credits you have accrued expire.  Typically it takes five years for these credits to expire.  In short it is a policy that takes fives years on average to use the disability benefits and five years of not contributing to lose.  The easiest  way to determine what your monthly payment will be is by visiting  www.ssa.gov/mystatement/  This Social Security Administration website can give you up to date information about what your monthly benefits may be if you’re found disabled by Social Security Disability rules. It will also give you a summary of your earnings used to calculate the amount. If you disagree with the earnings that your benefits are based on, you can contact the Social Security Administration. Your SSDI payment can be reduced if you’re receiving Workers’ Comp or Temporary State Disability benefits. If you’re receiving these types of benefits you should talk to Social Security or an attorney to determine how your benefits may be affected.
The second program, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), pays one amount to all recipients. The 2015 federal SSI payment amount is $733. This amount may vary by state as some states like California and New York supplement the federal payment and pay recipients slightly more. The $733 can be reduced based on household income or failure to pay your pro-rata share of household expenses. For example, if you live in a household that has 2 people and the total household expenses are $1000 and you pay only $300 per month towards those expenses, you’re not paying your pro-rata share and your SSI payment may be reduced. A good attorney can help ensure that your SSI benefits are not reduced by drafting agreements between you and others in the household or by creating something called a special needs trust.

If you become unable to work due to disability and you are eligible do not delay your Social Security Disability Insurance application.  We have seen far too many people lose out on higher pay because they lost the work credits needed for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.  If you lose out on these benefits it is possible that you may not be eligible for any program.  Supplemental Security Income is based on household income.  Social Security Disability Insurance does not consider household income because eligibility is based on earned work credits.  You paid into to the system for years utilize what you have earned as soon as you can.

What will Social Security Disability Pay Me After Approval

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