How Much Are Social Security Disability Benefits Worth?
Are you too sick or injured to work, and struggling to make ends meet? Have you applied for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, and are waiting to hear back from the government? If so, you’re probably wondering how much money you can expect to receive every month in Social Security Disability benefits.
Calculating Your Monthly Disability Check
The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a complicated formula to determine how much money you’ll receive in your monthly disability check. Your monthly disability check isn’t determined by the severity of your illness or injury, or how much income or assets you have. Rather, your monthly disability check is based off of your average lifetime earnings before your disability began.
When it comes to determining how much money you’ll receive every month in SSD payments, the SSA looks at something called your “covered earnings.” Covered earnings are income on which you’ve paid Social Security taxes. The Social Security Administration tracks covered earnings for all Americans.
Once the SSA has determined your covered earnings, they then look at your covered earnings over a period of years to determine your Average Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME). A complicated formula is then applied to your AIME to determine your Primary Insurance Amount (PIA), on which your monthly SSD check is based.
The amount of money you receive every month in SSD benefits will vary greatly from one person to the next. Most people receive $700 to $1,700 per month. In 2016, the average SSD payment was $1,166. However, if you have a higher covered earnings amount, you may receive more. In 2016, you can receive up to $2,639 in monthly Social Security Disability payments.
Are You Eligible for Backpay?
Did you know that many people who are awarded Social Security Disability benefits are also eligible for backpay? Backpay is past due disability benefits that are paid in one lump sum. There are several confusing rules that determine whether or not you will receive backpay.
First, the SSA will look at your Established Onset Date, which is the date your disability is officially recognized as beginning. Either a disability examiner or an administrative law judge will use your medical records and other evidence to determine your Established Onset Date.
Next, the SSA will look at your application date, which is the day that you applied for SSD benefits. From there, the SSA will jump back one full year to set a retroactive period. If you win your SSD claim, you’ll be eligible to receive benefits back to your Established Onset Date or the beginning of the 12-month retroactive period, whichever comes later.
However, there’s one catch to backpay. Social Security Disability benefits have a five-month waiting period. This means that your first five months of benefits are essentially canceled. For example, if you have an Established Onset Date of 10 months before your date of application, you will receive five months of backpay.
As you can see, navigating the Social Security Administration’s guidelines is a difficult process. That’s why it’s important that you have experienced attorneys like the ones at Tuggle, Schiro & Lichtenberger working for you. We help people in Springfield-Decatur, Champaign-Urbana, Danville and across Central Illinois. Call us today at 888-389-2810 for a free consultation. There is no fee for our services unless you win benefits.