Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Disability Requirements

Disability Applications

Disability Advice Tips

How long do cases take?

How to win Disability

SSD Mistakes to avoid

Disability for Mental

What if you get denied?

How to file Appeals

Disability through SSA

SSI Disability Benefits

Disability for Children

How do I qualify for it?

Working and Disability

Disability Award Notice

Disability Lawyer Q&A

Disability Conditions List

What is a disability?

Your Medical Evidence

Filing for your Disability

Disability Eligibility

SSD SSI Definitions

Recent Questions

SSDRC Disability Blog

How much does Disability Pay?

If an individual is approved to receive disability benefits, how much they will receive in disability pay will depend on several factors. The first and primary consideration is which program the person has been approved to receive disability benefits in.

For those who are unaware, the social security administration has two separate disability programs, SSD disability (title II benefits) and SSI disability, or title 16 benefits.

Disability claims taken in either program are processed in exactly the same manner, meaning that the medical evaluation process is identical regardless of whether a claim is taken in the Social security disability program or the SSI disability program. The process involves obtaining the claimant's medical records and using them to determine if the individual has the capability to engage in substantial and gainful work activity.

What is very different between the two programs, however, is what a person may receive. This is due to the funding mechanisms of each program. SSD, or social security disability, is a program based on insured status and having gained work credits as a result of work activity. To be eligible for social security disability, a person must have "paid into the system" via fica taxes that are either deducted from a paycheck or paid directly by a self-employed individual.

Because social security disability is based on what a person has paid in taxes over the course of their working years, the amount that they receive on a social security retirement check or on a social security disability check will be based on this. And it is for this reason that most recipient's checks will be for different amounts.

So an individual who has typically earned $30,000 per year will receive a larger benefit amount (at retirement or in the event that they become disabled) than a person who has typically earned $20,000 per year. And, of course, a person who has typically earned $40-50,000 per year will receive even more in monthly retirement or disability benefits.

SSI is quite different from SSD. SSI is basically set up to provide retirement or disability benefits to:

A) Individuals who are not insured to receive social security disability (such as stay-at-home spouses and minor-age children),

B) Individual who were once insured for SSD but have lost their insured status because they have not worked for a long time (one example would be where an individual returned to school for a number of years),


C) Individuals who are insured to receive SSD benefits but would only receive a fairly small monthly check; in this last instance, a person might actually receive what is known as a concurrent benefit, meaning they would receive benefits in both programs.

For more on this topic: Who is eligible for SSI?

SSI is basically a need based program and because it is the amount a person may receive is pre-defined. For 2019, the maximum amount that a person may receive for SSI disability is $771 per month. Keep in mind, however, that the SSI amount a person receives may be reduced if the individual has earned income. It may also be reduced due to family income.

For instance, if a minor-age child receives SSI, the check may be reduced if one or both of the parents have income. Likewise, the SSI benefits of an adult may be reduced if he or she is married and the spouse has income.

Of additional interest: How long can you receive SSI or Social Security disability benefits?

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

Related pages:

How much does Social Security Disability or SSI pay?
How much does Disability Pay?
Does Social Security disability pay for medicine prescriptions?
How much does Social Security pay in disability benefits?
Does Social Security disability pay for doctor visits?
Will Social Security Disability Pay for X-rays or an MRI?
After I File For Disability Will Social Security Pay For Me To See A Doctor?
When does Social Security pay the first disability benefit check?
Is it possible that I will lose my disability benefits when my case is being reviewed?

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