SSDI Benefit Calculations

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The amount you are eligible to receive in benefits through the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program through the Social Security Administration will vary according to a number of different factors. To gain the maximum benefits, it is important to ensure that the Administration has all the information necessary.

How SSDI Works

Unlike Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in which payments are determined on the basis of your need, SSDI is an insurance program that is based on the “premiums” you have paid through taxes while you were working. The FICA taxes deducted from each paycheck (or paid through self-employment tax) are what fund the program. To a certain degree, what you are able to receive out of the SSDI program is based on what you have paid in.

To begin with, you must have worked long enough and paid enough taxes to qualify for benefits. Depending on your age, you may need as much as ten years of work credits to be eligible. Once basic eligibility is established, the amount you can receive in SSDI benefits will be based on a percentage of what you have earned over the course of your work history. The severity of your condition does not impact benefit amounts—the calculations are strictly based on income. If you receive disability benefits from other sources, your SSDI benefits may be reduced, but your other household income will not generally affect SSDI amounts.

Average Indexed Monthly Earnings and Primary Insurance Amounts

The Social Security Administration calculates SSDI benefits based on a worker’s average indexed monthly earnings (AIME). This amount is determined by considering up to 35 years of earnings and choosing the years with the highest amounts indexed to reflect changes in general wage levels during the years of employment. Average yearly amounts are divided to create an average monthly amount.

For 2024, the average SSDI benefit is expected to be a little over $1,500 per month, although higher earning employees could receive over $3,800 per month.

Factors That Can Reduce Your SSDI Benefits

The benefits as calculated under the formula can be reduced in certain situations. These include:

  • Receiving workers’ compensation benefits
  • Receiving other public disability benefits
  • Receiving a pension from work not covered by Social Security

When Do Benefits Start?

You can apply for SSDI benefits as soon as your condition(s) prevents you from working and that is expected to last a year or more (or lead to death.) Once Social Security determines the date that you qualify for benefits, there is a five month waiting period until you become eligible to receive monthly checks.

Burgess & Christensen Helps You Obtain the Benefits You Need

The Social Security Administration rules and requirements for obtaining SSDI benefits can be very confusing, and the process of applying for benefits often requires significant diligence and knowledge to complete successfully. At Burgess & Christensen, we can help you make sense of the intricate rules, determine your eligibility, and guide you step by step through the application process. We fight tirelessly to get the benefits you deserve.

If you have questions or are ready to get started working toward your benefits, contact us today for a free consultation.

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    When you are unable to work, you still need to support yourself and your family. Call us at 770-422-8111 or contact us online. We do not charge any fees until the disability claim is approved and our fees are authorized.