What will be my Social Security Disability amount each month?

A common question that I am asked is what will be my social security disability amount of  benefits?  It is a question that I am frequently asked, and an important one, at that.  Most individuals I represent for Social Security Disability can no longer work because of their medical condition(s), so the amount of social security disability benefits is important to them.

We provide legal expertise in winning Social Security Disability benefits in Pennsylvania and Maryland

So how are amounts calculated?

Online Help

First, you can link over to the Social Security website and apply for Online Services.  You can do many things regarding social security benefits through that portal.  You can request an annual benefit statement that lists current SSA retirement and disability rates.  There is also a tab there to calculate future social security benefits.  Those are two key areas to start your research into estimated Social Security Disability amounts.

After Winning Benefits

SSD Benefits
Mooney & Associates representing social security clients

If you apply for Social Security Disability benefits and are approved at the application level, you will receive a letter advising you that your claim has been approved and the letter will be called “Notice of Award.”  If you are not approved at the application level, but subsequently are awarded benefits through the hearing process, you will receive the same Notice of Award.  The Notice of Award in this situation will list four very specific things that are important to you.

  1. Will list the back payment that is due to you.
  2. It will list the dates of the back payment, usually, the day you are awarded benefits and back to the date the ALJ found you to be disabled.
  3. It will list when your first monthly check is due
  4. It will list the monthly benefits you will receive.

How is your Social Security Disability Amount Calculated

Calculations are based on the amount of income you have paid into the Social Security system.  The calculation is through a complex formula.  Essentially, Social Security bases your social security disability amount on the amount of Social Security taxes you’ve paid, which is base don your earnings.  These are titled  “covered earnings.”  Your average covered earnings over a period of years is known as your average indexed monthly earnings (AIME). A formula is then applied to your AIME to calculate your insurance amount , which is the base figure that Social Security uses in setting your Social Security Disability amount.  In other words, the higher your career earning, the higher your benefit amount.

That certainly is not a simple explanation, but is the best I could do.

Not Covered Income

Unfortunately, I have run across individuals who have had several jobs over years in which they were paid ‘under the table’.  Seems like a brilliant idea at the time, although it really isn’t because it is illegal.  It is called tax evasion and has significant financial and criminal repercussions.  Another significant repercussion is those earnings are not reportable income for social security disability purposes, since no taxes were paid.  I have seen clients come in, who have worked very hard for years, but unfortunately not in a reportable job, and then they are clearly disabled, yet not eligible for ANY benefits.   It is completely devastating.   You do not pay in, you do not get credit.  It is that simple.

If you have applied for Social Security Disability benefits and have been denied, do not hesitate to contact us right away.  You only have a short amount of time to file an appeal from the date of your denial letter.  Your consultation is FREE OF CHARGE.   Help us help you win Social Security Disability benefits that you may be entitled to.  Contact me today.  We represent individuals in Pennsylvania and Maryland.

Mark Buterbaugh

Attorney representing injured workers and Social Security Disability clients in Pennsylvania and Maryland.