Social Security Disability Resource Center

Overview | How to Qualify | Applications
Requirements | How long it takes | Back Pay
Mental Disability | What is a disability? | Tips
SSI Benefits | How to Win | Disability Awards
Hearings | Appeals | List of Disabling Conditions

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 2019, the monthly SSI full amount (the maximum that an SSI disability beneficiary may receive on a monthly basis) is $771. This is for an individual. The monthly benefit amount for an SSI eligible person who is married (an ineligible spouse) is $1,157.

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.

  • What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

  • What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

  • Which conditions will social security recognize as a disability?

  • Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

  • SSDRC Homepage:

    Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center

    The Most Basic questions about Getting Disability Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI and whether or not you can work

    Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

    Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    More Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    Common Questions about Social Security Disability and SSI

    Winning Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    The SSI Disability Benefits Program

    Medical exams for disability claims

    Applying for Disability in various states

    Social Security Disability SSI and Doctors - Yours and Theirs

    Social Security Disability and SSI Claim Reviews

    Social Security Disability SSI System and Benefits for Children

    Denials, Appeals, and Getting a Disability Lawyer or Representative

    What you should know about Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

    Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney

    Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits

    FAQ on Disability Claim Representation

    Disability hearings before Judges

    Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers

    Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits

    Social Security and SSI based on Mental Disability

    Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children

    Disability Benefits through Social Security

    Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI: Medical Evidence and Records

    Filing your claim for disability benefits

    Eligibility for receiving disability benefits

    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

    Resources on this site

    Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions

    Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

    For Individuals living in North Carolina

    Applying for Disability in North Carolina

    North Carolina Disability Lawyer

    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?
    Social Security Disability, SSI and more than one medical problem
    Getting a Disability Lawyer in California
    Will I qualify for disability Benefits in California?
    How long does it take to get disability in California?

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

    Filing for disability, When should you?
    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