How much money can I potentially get with SSDI?

How much money can a person receive if they are approved for SSDI?

Social Security Disability (SSDI, SSD) disability benefit amounts are not based on the severity of a medical condition; rather, they are determined by a person's earnings prior to their becoming disabled. Consequently, SSD disability monthly payment amounts are unique to each disability beneficiary.

The 2019 maximum disability amount is $2681.00, however most SSD beneficiaries have monthly benefit amounts that range from $800.00 to $1800.00 with the average monthly benefit being about $1300.00 per month. Additionally, there may be dependent monthly benefits for your children and/or spouse, provided there is additional money available on your record.

There are only a couple of things that can reduce a SSD beneficiary's monthly disability benefit. The most common cause is workers compensation benefits. In most situations, Social Security rules require that an individual not receive more than 80% of their fully employed monthly earnings; consequently, SSD beneficiaries receiving workers compensation benefits will often have their disability benefits offset.

The offset is greatest if you are receiving weekly workers compensation benefits. The amount of an offset will be greatly reduced once there is a settlement provided there is a clincher statement that prorates the settlement over your remaining lifetime. While the most common cause is workers compensation, there are some state disability programs that cause a similar offset to SSDI monthly benefits.

In review, your earnings prior to becoming disabled determine your SSDI monthly benefits. SSDI benefits are not based on the severity of your condition, nor are they a predetermined monthly amount like the need based SSI disability program.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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