How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

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?

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

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?
Qualifying for disability in Missouri

Will I qualify for disability in Missouri?

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

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

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?

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.