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What Is Social Security Disability Benefits Pay Chart
The Social Security Disability Benefits pay chart is a payout chart representing the monthly maximum federal amounts an eligible individual may receive for his or her disability.
In other words, if a person is eligible to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, the amount they would expect to receive in monthly payouts will be calculated based on the person’s average lifetime earnings preceding the disability.
Many assume that the SSDI payment is based on the severity of the disability or the person’s income at the moment when the disability occurred.
To be eligible for SSDI, a person must have worked and paid Social Security taxes for a certain number of years whereas the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can pay benefits to those who are disabled and had limited income or resources.
The SSI is a needs based program that does not depend on the person’s past work history.
A person can be eligible to receive SSI benefits based on a chart made available by the SSA.
Typically, a disabled person along with their eligible family members may be entitled to receive disability benefits.
The family members can include the disabled person’s spouse (or divorced spouse), child, diabled child, or adult child but disabled before the age of 22.
How Social Security Benefits Work
The Social Security benefits are amounts that come from payroll deductions made by employers on an employee’s income.
In fact, the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) requires that employers make payroll deductions to cover the costs associated with Social Security benefits.
Once the sums are deducted from payroll, the Disability Insurance Trust Fund (DI) is funded to pay for the disability benefits to the eligible disabled persons.
To qualify for disability benefits, you must meet certain conditions as required by the SSA, such as:
- You must have worked for a certain period of time before you became disabled
- Your medical condition qualifies as a “disability”
The Social Security Administration will evaluate every applicant’s request to determine if they are eligible to receive any benefits.
Typically, here are the steps that are followed to assess eligibility:
- Step 1: Validate that you are not working or your income falls below the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) limits
- Step 2: Does your condition interfered with basic work-related activities
- Step 3: Is your disabling medical condition one for which you automatically qualify or is your condition severe enough for you to qualify
If an applicant’s condition is not severe enough to interfere with his or her ability to work and earn an income, the application may not be approved.
In certain cases, the SSA will determine if you can do another type of work in consideration of your medical condition, age, education, work experience and so on.
Calculating Social Security Disability Benefits
Every person eligible to receive Social Security benefits may be entitled to a different amount.
In essence, SSD benefits can range from $100 per month for some and go all the way to $3,148 in 2021.
Here is an overall summary of how your Social Security benefits are calculated (bear in mind the calculations are complex and this may not be easy to grasp for everyone).
Step 1: Determine your “covered earnings” representing the amount of income you have paid Social Security taxes over the years.
Step 2: Calculate your Average Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME) representing the average of the covered earnings over the years you’ve earned income on which you paid Social Security taxes.
Step 3: Calculate your Primary Insurance Amount (PIA) as follows (the below percentages vary every year, we are using the 2021 percentages):
- Take 90% of your AIME if it’s between $0 to $996
- Take 32% of your AIME that exceeds $996 but is below $6,002
- Take 15% of your AIME that exceeds $6,002
Add the three amounts you get in each tranche to get your PIA.
The SSA has an online benefits calculator that you can use to get a rough estimate of how much you may receive in monthly disability.
Average SSDI Benefits
The way the Social Security disability payments are calculated is somewhat complex.
Every individual eligible to receive Social Security may not be eligible for the same amount as the calculation for each individual is unique.
In 2021, a person eligible for disability payouts may receive anything between $100 and $3,148.
In 2021, the average Social Security benefits payment amounted to $1,277.
Reduction of Disability Payments
In some cases, your SSDI benefits may be reduced.
If a person eligible to receive SSDI also receives a government-regulated disability benefit, then the SSDI benefits may be reduced.
A government-related disability benefit could be:
- Payments made by the Workers’ Compensation
- Public disability benefits
- Temporary disability benefits paid by the state
- Military disability benefits
To determine the amount by which your SSDI may be reduced, the SSA will calculate the total disability payments you are eligible to receive and if you get more than 80% of your average income before the disability, the SSDI will be reduced.
The following disability, on the other hand, should not affect your SSDI payouts:
- Private long-term disability insurance
- SSI benefits
- VA benefits
Social Security Disability Pay Chart Takeaways
So, what should you know about the disability payment chart provided by SSDI?
Determining how much you may be entitled to in SSDI may be difficult for some.
In case of doubt, you should consider consulting with a disability lawyer who understands how the disability chart and payouts work.
Let’s look at a summary of our findings.
SSDI Disability Pay Chart
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