What Social Security Disability (SSD) pays per month depends on your average lifetime earnings before your disability. The severity of your disability does not determine your benefits.
According to the Social Security Administration (SSA)’s fact sheet for 2020, the average monthly disability payment was $1,259. The following are monthly averages for family members:
- Disabled workers’ spouses: $358
- Disabled workers’ children: $391
Keep in mind: these are average amounts. An individual’s benefits could be lower or higher, depending on their lifetime earnings. If you are getting benefits from other places, you might get less from SSD.
How Can You Find Out Your Monthly Disability Benefits?
You can get an estimate in two ways:
- Through your Social Security account online
- By using the Benefits Calculator on the SSA website
The calculator will determine what SSD would pay if your disability started right now. For help calculating your benefits, contact a Social Security Disability lawyer. Your lawyer can also help you file your claim correctly.
If you need help getting your benefits, contact John Foy & Associates. Our Social Security Disability lawyers have 20-plus years of experience. Plus, we do not collect a fee unless we win you money.
For a FREE, no-risk consultation, call (404) 400-4000, or contact us online.
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When Will Social Security Disability Benefits Start?
If you get approved, the benefits will start on the sixth full month after your disability began.
For example, say you became disabled on May 15, 2020. You would first receive payment for November 2020. November is the sixth full month since you became disabled.
Social Security pays each benefit for the month after it’s due. For example, you would get your benefits for November in December. The same structure continues for as long as you receive benefits.
How Can You Calculate Your Monthly Benefits?
The SSA uses a complicated formula to calculate your benefits. Each monthly payment is different for each person. It depends on how much you’ve paid into Social Security taxes:
- Your average indexed monthly earnings (AIME) means what you’ve earned over a certain number of years. AIME only includes income from which you’ve paid Social Security taxes.
- From your AIME, the SSA calculates your primary insurance amount (PIA). The PIA is a base number used for your formula.
- The administration uses your PIA to determine your benefits.
As you can see, the process is complicated. It’s easiest to view your earnings history through your Social Security Statement. To see this online, log into the SSA website.
Disability benefits can be confusing. To know more about calculating your benefits, contact a local Social Security office or an SSD lawyer.
Can Other Payments Affect Your Disability Pay?
Yes. The following programs could reduce your Social Security disability payments:
- Workers’ compensation
- Pensions from work not covered under Social Security
- Public disability benefits
- Other government benefits
The SSA might pay less if they see another program is providing benefits. You cannot receive benefits for over 80% of the average wages you earned before your disability.
Can You Get Back Payments?
Back payments provide benefits for the time between your disability and your approval. Backpay will depend on:
- Your application
- When your disability started
- How much disability you get per month
You might be eligible for backpay up to the date you applied. These payments can help fill in the gaps where you had no income. Contact a Social Security Disability lawyer for questions about back payments.
Medicare and Social Security Disability
After you’ve had disability benefits for two years, the SSA will enroll you in Medicare. There are two parts:
- Hospital insurance for inpatient hospital care and follow-ups
- Medical insurance for doctor bills, outpatient care, and other medical services
Hospital insurance is no-charge. Medical insurance requires a monthly premium, and you can choose whether or not you want it. Most SSD applicants have both parts.
In some cases, your state might cover Medicare premiums and other costs. This is especially likely if you are low-income.
How Do You Know if You’re Eligible for Disability Benefits?
You may qualify for Social Security Disability if:
- You have paid into Social Security through your wages.
- You have a disabling medical condition.
- You can no longer work because of your condition.
The Social Security Administration will look at your work history and your condition. It uses a five-stage process to assess your claim.
1. Are You Working?
If you are making over a certain amount per month, you will not qualify. The SSA will not consider you to be disabled. In 2020, that amount is $1,260. If you do not make more than the set amount, you’ll move to question two.
2. Do You Have a “Severe” Condition?
Your condition must be severe enough to limit your necessary activities for at least a year. A critical condition prevents you from work like:
If the answer is “yes,” your claim moves to the next question.
3. Is Your Condition on the List?
The SSA has a Listing of Impairments it considers to be disabling. The person reviewing your claim will see if your condition is on the list. If it’s not, they might compare it to a listed condition.
If your condition is disabling, you’ll move to the next question.
4. Can You Do Work You Did Before?
The SSA won’t consider you disabled if you can perform any previous work. Your condition must prevent any type of work.
5. Can You Do Another Type of Work?
The SSA will look to see if you can perform new or other types of work. If the answer is “no,” your claim will be approved.
You also must have earned enough work credits to qualify. For most people, that means:
- 40 work credits total
- 20 of those work credits in the last 10 years before you became disabled
Most people meet the work requirement if they’ve worked much at all in the past 10 years. If you’re unsure, talk to an experienced lawyer.
Talk to a Social Security Disability Lawyer for Free Today
Getting Social Security Disability benefits can be difficult. Even if you qualify, you might have trouble getting approved. At John Foy & Associates, we can help.
Our lawyers can examine your claim. We’ll help you improve it or appeal a denial. We can also go over what to expect after approval. Contact us today for a FREE, no-risk consultation.
We do not collect a fee unless we win you money. Call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online to get your FREE consultation.