SSDI calculations are complicated, and the total varies per person. Your monthly benefits will depend on how much you’ve paid into Social Security through wages. The severity of your disability does not matter in the calculation.
Let’s look at how SSDI is calculated by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
How Does the SSA Calculate Your Monthly SSDI Payment?
When you apply for SSDI benefits, the SSA will look at what you’ve paid into Social Security taxes from your income. The formula starts with your Average Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME). The AIME is your average earnings from Social Security-covered income.
After getting your AIME, the SSA will determine your Primary Insurance Amount (PIA). The PIA depends on your AIME range. The PIA is a total of three percentages from portions of your AIME. Each part depends on the year you reach age 62, become disabled before age 62, or die before age 62.
If you become eligible for SSDI benefits in 2020, your PIA would be the total of:
- 90% of the first $960 of your AIME
- 32% of your AIME between $960 and $5,785
- 15% of your AIME over $5,785
The SSA totals each of these percentages and rounds the sum to the lower multiple of 10 cents. Each portion is the “bend point” for calculating your SSDI. The SSA uses your PIA to determine a base point for your benefits.
The monthly SSDI benefit amount is unique to each person. To know the numbers for your case, you can check your Social Security account‘s annual statement. The SSA also has an online calculator where you can enter the numbers yourself.
The SSDI formula is intricate. If you’re confused about the amount of your benefits, talk to a SSDI lawyer. Your lawyer can calculate SSDI benefits for you and help you submit or appeal an application. To get a FREE consultation today, call John Foy & Associates at (404) 400-4000, or contact us online.
What Is the Average SSDI Payment?
As of 2020, most people receive between $800 and $1,800 per month through SSDI. The average monthly benefit for 2020 is $1,258, and the maximum is $3,011 per month.
If you are receiving benefits from other places, it can affect your monthly benefits. Your payments could be lower or higher than the average for different reasons.
How Is SSDI Back Pay Calculated?
Back payments (“back pay”) cover the time between when your disability started and when you got approval. There is a five-month waiting period after you become disabled. After that waiting period, you are eligible for benefits beginning on the sixth full month of disability.
Many SSDI applications take time to process. Sometimes, it can take years. After approval, you can receive back pay for the months you should have received benefits.
The SSA will look at when you became disabled, subtract the waiting period, and send back pay up until your approval. Many applicants get their back payments around 60 days after approval. If your disabled status started well before applying for benefits, you could receive retroactive payments for up to 12 months.
Can Other Benefits Affect the SSDI Calculations?
Some benefits from other programs will affect your SSDI calculation. Other government benefits, such as workers’ compensation, can reduce your SSDI.
You cannot get over 80% of your average income before your disability. That includes the sum of SSDI and other related benefits. However, private disability insurance should not affect your SSDI payments. The same goes for veterans’ benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
How Can You Earn SSDI Benefits?
Your SSDI benefits come from your “covered earnings.” When you worked a job, your employer deducted a portion for Social Security (FICA) taxes. If you were self-employed, part of your taxes would go to Social Security.
To qualify for SSDI, you must have earned enough work credits:
- In 2020, you can earn one work credit for every $1,410 in earnings. Previous years would require fewer earnings per credit.
- You can earn up to four work credits per year.
- Most adults will need at least 40 work credits. 20 of those credits should come from the last 10 years before your disability.
If you worked much at all before becoming disabled, you’ll likely have enough work credits. The more you have paid into Social Security, the higher your SSDI calculation will be.
Talk to a SSDI Lawyer During a Free Consultation Today
The SSDI process is often confusing and stressful. At John Foy & Associates, we want to make the experience as simple as possible for you. We can help calculate your SSDI benefits, improve your claim, or appeal a denial.
Our lawyers do not charge a fee unless we win your case. Plus, the consultation is always 100% FREE. Contact us today, and we’ll match you with the best disability attorney for your situation.
To schedule your FREE consultation, call (404) 400-4000, or contact us online.