There is a complex formula used to determine how much you draw from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). In general, most people get between $700 and $1,700 each month. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), the average monthly payout for qualified individuals is $1,197 for 2018. Those who earned a high income during their years working could get as much as $2,788 per month in benefits.
At Berger and Green, our disability lawyers can help you understand how much permanent disability pays. We can discuss how to qualify for benefits during a free consultation. Call us at 412-661-1400 to get started.
How Does the SSA Determine Who Receives the Maximum Benefit Amount?
The reason SSDI payments differ is that the SSA bases its monthly payments on your earnings the last few years before you apply for disability. This means that claimants who had a higher salary or income will generally receive a larger monthly payment, up to the maximum benefit amount. Those who earned only a modest income will receive less money each month.
In many cases, this means those who suffer a permanent impairment at a younger age receive a smaller check each month. Older claimants have often worked their way further up the ladder and were able to earn a higher income than their younger counterparts.
How Is Permanent Disability Pay Calculated?
While you could use the same formula he SSA uses to calculate your own benefit amount, this would require first figuring out the numbers used in the formula, including your:
- Average Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME); and
- Primary Insurance Amount (PIA).
In addition to requiring several steps, is often difficult to know exactly which numbers the SSA is using, making it hard to get an accurate answer.
You can log into your Social Security account and use the free benefit calculator. This calculator will use the same numbers the SSA would use if you filed for permanent disability benefits today, and it should give you an accurate benefit amount for the current year.
Are There Any Other Factors That Might Affect My Benefit Amount?
While the SSA website can give you a good idea of your benefit amount, there are some things that could affect your payout that are not taken into account on the site. These additional factors could decrease your monthly disability payment or increase your total money from disability.
Decreasing Your Benefits Amount
If you receive other types of disability benefits, they could decrease your monthly SSDI payment. This includes disability you received through workers’ compensation or disability program. However, not all other types of disability benefits will affect your SSDI. Service-connected veterans benefits, for example, do not typically reduce your monthly payments from SSDI.
Increasing Your Benefit Amount
The only way to increase your monthly benefit amount is to qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This might be possible if your family has a low household income and few assets. This program is for those most in need.
You will not qualify for SSI if you qualify for an average SSDI benefit amount. However, you might qualify if you worked a low-paying job before your impairment, and only qualify for a relatively small SSDI monthly payment.
Can I Qualify for Back Pay for Missed Disability Payments?
There is a five-month elimination period—or waiting period—from the time you apply for permanent disability before you can receive your first monthly payment. However, it usually takes much longer than five months for the SSA to process your application. If you need to appeal a denial in your case, it could take you well over a year to get approved.
During that time, your unpaid benefits stack up. When the SSA finally approves you for SSDI, you will receive a payment for this back pay.
It is important to note you may not receive full back pay going back to the date you first applied. This might occur if the Administrative Law Judge who reviews your appeal decides the date you became impaired occurred after the date that you said it did on your application.
Getting Retroactive Benefits From Social Security
If the date you first suffered a qualifying impairment was before the date you first applied for SSDI benefits, you could also qualify for retroactive benefits.
How Can I Talk to an Attorney About Getting Disability Benefits?
At Berger and Green, our permanent disability team will help you apply for disability or fight a denial of your benefits. We can navigate the disability process for you and fight for the full benefits you deserve. We might also be able to file a personal injury case on your behalf if your impairment occurred because of someone else’s negligence.
Call our office today at 412-661-1400 to get started.