People often reach out to us to ask how much they would be entitled to if they are approved for disability benefits. The answer is complicated, but here are some tips to estimate how much you might receive if the government finds you meet the criteria for disability benefits.
Social Security Disability
For people who have recently worked and who are approved for Social Security disability, their disability benefit amount will be very similar (usually within a few dollars) to their full retirement benefit amount.
You can create a personal account at the Social Security website which will show you your estimated monthly disability benefit amount. Be prepared to answer difficult security questions to create your account. If you answer incorrectly, you can try again in 24 hours.
You can also call the national toll-free number at (800) 772-1213 and ask them to provide your disability primary insurance amount (PIA). Be prepared for very long wait times if you call this number.
If you have minor children, their may be an additional benefit for your children as well. This is often approximately 50% of the parent’s monthly benefit amount allocated among their eligible children. The combined benefit for the parent and the eligible children is called the “Family Maximum.”
Supplemental Security Income
If you have not recently worked and paid Social Security taxes, or if your monthly SSD benefit is very low, you might be eligible for Supplemental Security Income if you meet all the medical and financial criteria.
A person eligible for SSI can receive a maximum of $771 (in 2019) per month. That benefit amount can be reduced for any money they receive, their spouse’s income, if they get free food and shelter or if they are working. It is your obligation to report changes in income, asset and living situation to the government so they can accurately calculate your monthly benefit.
Because these amounts that can impact your monthly SSI benefit are likely to vary from month to month, your SSI check might vary dramatically from month to month.
Do I get both benefits added together if I meet criteria for both SSD and SSI?
Social Security’s rules state that if you are eligible for benefits under multiple programs, you get whatever benefit is higher. If you are both SSD and SSI eligible, you should expect to receive which ever benefit is higher in a given month.