Topic Categories:

Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Requirements for Disability

Applications for disability

Tips and Advice for Disability Claims

How long does Disability take?

Winning Disability Benefits

Common Mistakes after a Denial

Mental Disability Benefits

Denials for Disability

Appeals for denied claims

Disability Benefits from SSA

SSI Benefits

Child Disability Benefits

Qualifications and How to Qualify

Working and Disability

Disability Awards and Notices

Disability Lawyers, Hiring Attorneys

Social Security List of Conditions

What Social Security considers disabling

Medical Evidence and Disability

Filing for Disability Benefits

Eligibility for Disability Benefits

SSD SSI Definitions

Ask a question, get an answer

How does Social Security determine the amount of money you receive on disability?

What you receive on SSI Disability

If you file for disability and are approved to receive disability benefits under the SSI program, then the amount you may receive is predetermined. This is because the eligibility for SSI benefits is not based on anything that you might have paid into the system. SSI is an entitlement program that is based on need. The amount, therefore, is the same for all benefit recipients. For the year 2011, the monthly SSI full amount (the maximum that an SSI disability beneficiary may receive on a monthly basis) is $674. This is for an individual. The monthly benefit amount for an SSI eligible person who is married (an ineligible spouse) is $1,011.

As was stated, the monthly SSI disability benefit amount is predetermined. However, it may be reduced by any countable income that the SSI recipient may have, or any spousal income that may be earned by the recipient's "ineligible spouse" (a spouse who does not receive SSI). If the recipient has a spouse who is also eligible to receive SSI, then the total benefit amount payable would be further reduced by dividing it between the two spouses.

Note: An SSI disability recipient's monthly benefit may also be reduced if it is determined that they are living with someone and are not paying their fair share of expenses.

What you receive on SSD, or Social Security Disability

Social Security Disability is quite different from SSI with regard to how monthly benefit amounts are determined. What a person may receive on SSD is based on their earnings record. To be eligible in the first place, a person must have attained insured status by earning enough work credits. A work credit is equivalent to a calendar quarter in which a person had at least X amount in earnings: this amount is subject to change but in 2011 you would receive one credit for each $1,120 of earnings.

Insured status will allow a person to file a claim for SSD. Individuals who do not have insured status may still file a disability claim, but instead of filing under SSD it would be under the SSI program.

Additionally, individuals who have attained insured status for SSD but have not worked for a long time can lose their insured status. In fact, when social security disability claims are taken at social security field offices and are then transferred to a disability examiner, the examiner is informed of the DLI, or date last insured. This is the date up until which the claimant is covered for SSD benefits--meaning that to be approved for disability, the medical evidence would need to establish that the claimant had a disabling condition that satisfied the social security administration definition of disability prior to the expiration of the DLI, or date last insured.

Does the person who files for disability need to know what their DLI is, or even if they have become insured for SSD? Not really. The only thing that a claimant needs to be concerned with is initiating the application for disability (by contacting a social security office and arranging for a disability application interview). The social security office CR (claims representative) will determine which program the claimant is eligible to apply under (it may be both) and can also inform the claimant of their insured status as well as what their benefit amount might be.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

Getting SSDI but making too much money
Can You Be Denied Social Security Disability If You Have Money In A Savings Account?
Social Security Disability and Money in the Bank
How does Social Security determine the amount of money you receive on disability?

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria