How Much In Social Security Disability Benefits Will I Get?
If you have worked for many years and have suddenly become disabled due to illness or injury, you may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. These benefits are available to those who have a work history as well as a disability expected to last one year or longer.
If you qualify for these benefits, you may wonder how much money you will get. The monthly benefit payment will depend primarily on your earnings history. Generally, the longer you’ve worked and the more money you’ve earned, the more money you can expect to receive.
The benefits are calculated in the same way as Social Security retirement benefits. Both are based on your “covered earnings,” which is any income on which you paid Social Security taxes.
The Social Security Administration comes up with your benefit amount by determining your average monthly income across your working life. It then uses a special formula to determine your primary insurance amount (PIA), which is your disability or retirement benefit. While the formula is the same, the income data and when you can collect it can differ.
Because a worker can become disabled before they retire, Social Security uses a different time frame for SSDI claims than it does for retirement benefits. It depends on the age you become disabled. Plus, not all your working years may be included. It depends on terms such as “elapsed years” and “computation years.”
First, the SSA will calculate how many years you have worked, starting with the year you turned 22 to the year before you became disabled. It then throws out between one and five years, based on how long you’ve been working. This will determine the number of your highest-earning years that will go into the PIA calculation.
Regardless of your age, once your SSDI claim is approved, you’ll receive 100 percent of your PIA—the full benefit amount. However, keep in mind that the payment amount will likely be lower than your retirement amount. That’s because having a disability before retirement causes you to lose out on working years, so you don’t get the opportunity to boost your PIA amounts. To get some perspective, in August 2021, the average monthly retirement benefit was $1,558, with SSDI benefits at around $1,280.
There are a couple things to keep in mind. If you are still getting SSDI benefits when you reach full retirement age, the disability benefit converts to a retirement benefit. They are typically the same amount. Also, SSDI benefits can be reduced if you are collecting workers’ compensation, state disability benefits, or other benefits.
Learn More About Social Security Disability Benefits
Understanding your Social Security Disability benefits can be a challenge. You want to ensure you get the most money possible, but how?
White Plains Social Security disability lawyer Michael Lawrence Varon can help. We have the skills and knowledge to effectively handle your case and help you get approved. To schedule a consultation, fill out the online form or call 914-294-2145.