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How Much Will I Get In SSDI?

Last updated: April 9, 2023

People who can no longer work receive benefits under Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). People with disabilities can receive SSDI payments and benefits every month. Payments and benefit amounts are not affected by the severity of a disability. Ultimately, the Social Security Administration decides whether you are qualified for SSDI payments. Applicants should fulfill the following criteria to be considered eligible for SSDI benefits. 

  • The program requires you to pay FICA or SECA taxes over some time to be insured.
  • Your condition conforms to the SSA's strict definition of disability.
  • There has been a set amount of time that you have worked. 

When applying for SSDI benefits, of all the questions the claimants wonder about, the biggest one is how much they will get in SSDI benefits. Read on to learn what SSDI payments are offered to different disabled individuals.

Getting approved for SSDI benefits is not immediate since the SSA considers many things. Check out our article on how long an SSDI approval can take.

How Much Does SSDI Pay?

How Much Does SSDI Pay?

Average Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME) and Primary Insurance Amount (PIA) are used by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to calculate SSDI benefits. In most cases, calculating your Social Security benefits will not be worth your time since the Social Security formula is quite complicated.

In 2023, the average SSDI payment will be $1,483 per month, while those who have earned high incomes in the past may receive as high as $3,627 per month. SSDI payments aren't affected by your state of residence; they remain the same regardless of where you reside. SSDI recipients with a spouse and children will receive an average monthly benefit of $2,616 in 2023. It is also possible for spouses taking care of children or those in retirement to receive benefits for their minor children.

A range of benefits is paid out by Social Security based on a person's lifetime earnings. Let's take the age of 55, the average age at which people start having disabilities. Social Security generally pays $1,000 to $2,700 to 55-year-olds who have worked their entire lives. Social Security uses benefits pay charts to show income-based ranges of how much you can receive each month.

If you are wondering how the SSA determines whether you are disabled, read our article on Social Security's process to evaluate disability claims.

How Your SSDI Payments Are Calculated

SSDI benefits are not affected by the severity of your disability. Your average earnings throughout your life before the onset of your disability are the determining factor for the Social Security Administration to figure out your monthly SSDI payment.

 Using your covered earnings, the SSA will calculate your benefit amount. These are the earnings you received at jobs where the employer took Social Security or FICA deductions from your wages.

Every recipient of SSDI receives a different amount of money every month. 

For 2023, the maximum benefit is $3,627, calculated using a weighted formula by the Social Security Administration (SSA). SSDI benefits are calculated using your average indexed monthly earnings (AIME) over the past year will be considered. 

These amounts form the basis of the SSA's formula for determining the primary insurance amount (PIA). This amount determines your basic benefit. A monthly benefit estimate can be obtained online with the SSA's benefits calculator.

Other Income That May Reduce Your SSDI Payment

Your SSDI benefit could be reduced if you receive any other government benefits, such as workers' compensation settlements. The term for these government benefits is "offsets." Other disability benefits, such as those paid to veterans by private insurers, do not affect SSDI benefits. 

You cannot receive more than 80% of your average monthly earnings before becoming disabled if these additional benefits are combined with your SSDI monthly benefit amount. You will be charged a deduction if your SSDI benefit amount exceeds 80%.

What About Retroactive Payments?

The SSA may be able to award you back pay once your SSDI application is approved, and your monthly benefit is calculated. How many months of retroactive payments you receive depends on when you applied for benefits and when your disability began. 

Often, you might need the assistance of a skilled Social Security disability lawyer to obtain back pay. Social Security usually backpays disability applicants once they receive an approval letter. The duration for which you can receive back payments is determined by your established onset date (EOD) or the date of your SSDI application and when the SSA determines you to be disabled. 

The total SSDI backpay is based on how much you receive in SSDI benefits each month. In addition to getting back payments concerning your established onset date, you are entitled to one year of retroactive payments before the "protective filing date" if you were disabled during that period.

Five-Month Waiting Period

Before receiving benefits, you must wait five months from your disability onset. According to this rule, you will need an established onset date of a minimum of 17 months before your application (protective filing) date to get the highest possible back pay amount for the one year before your application date. The only exceptions to this five-month waiting period rule are claimants suffering from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's disease.

Workers who pay their Social Security taxes regularly can receive SSDI benefits when they can no longer work. The AIME and PIA of the applicants determine these benefits. If you have the question, how much will I get in SSDI? In your mind, SSDI beneficiaries will receive an average of $1,483 and a maximum of $3,627 in 2023.

Filing for disability benefits from the SSA can be overwhelming for many applicants. If you have applied for disability benefits and have no other income source, read our article on what to do for income while waiting for disability.

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Victor Traylor
An expert to the field of Social Justice, Victor formed Disability Help to connect ideas and expertise from the US with rising global cultural leadership, building networks, fostering collaboration, long-term results, mutual benefit, and more extensive international perception.
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