Disability can occur from a number of illnesses or injuries and almost always has a severe impact on one’s life. Nearly 1 in 5 people in the United States have a disability, many of which require financial assistance to continue living life normally.
After you become disabled, Social Security disability benefits can serve as a lifeline to help you sustain yourself when you cannot work. The amount of these benefits can vary due to a number of factors, including the years you have worked and the amount you have earned over the course of your life.
Keep reading and find out how much you may receive for your disability benefits.
How is SSDI calculated?
In order to receive Social Security disability benefits, you must have worked a job that has paid into Social Security. Over the time you work you will earn credits that make you eligible to receive benefits. Once it is determined that you are eligible, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will then use a complex formula to determine your benefit amount up to the maximum benefit of $2,788 in 2018. Most disability payments average between $700-$1,700, with the 2018 average being $1,197.
Your benefit is calculated using your adjusted indexed monthly earnings, or AIME. This is found by taking up to 35 years of earnings and choosing the years that have the highest earnings. These years are indexed, which means that they are adjusted to reflect the change in wage levels that has occurred over your working lifetime. After this, the SSA will divide the total amount by the number of months in the years selected and round it to the lowest dollar amount. The result is the AIME.
Using your AIME, the SSA then finds your primary insurance amount (PIA). Your PIA directly translates to the amount of money you receive per month. Your AIME is put into a formula that adjusts yearly at certain bend points, though the majority of the formula is set by law. The result of the formula helps the SSA calculate your precise benefit amount. You may check your disability benefit payment amount online at www.ssa.gov/mystatement/. You may also call your local Social Security office and a representative can assist you in determining your benefit amount.
When is SSDI paid?
After your application for benefits is approved, you will receive your first benefit on the sixth full month after the day your disability began. The Social Security disability payment schedule will vary depending on your birthday:
- If you were born on the 1st-10th, you are paid on the second Wednesday of the month
- If you were born on the 11th-20th, you are paid on the third Wednesday of the month
- If you were born on the 21-31st, you are paid on the fourth Wednesday of the month
Can my Social Security Disability (SSDI) Benefit Be Reduced?
It is possible that receiving other forms of financial benefits may reduce or end your benefits. If you receive a windfall of money or a new source of income, you must report it to the Social Security Administration so they can properly assess your benefit amount.
For example, these factors can reduce benefits:
- Workers compensation, both monthly and lump sum
- Other public disability benefits
- Federal, state, or local government disability benefits
That being said, there are some sources of income that will not affect your Social Security benefits. These include:
- Veterans Affairs benefits
- State benefits if you have paid into Social Security
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Private pensions
- Insurance benefits
If you need assistance filing for your Social Security disability benefits, contact Reynolds & Gold.
Our legal team can help you navigate the process of earning your benefits and fight on your behalf to have your application approved.