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 can I get in Social Security Disability Income?

How does Social Security determine how much my disability benefit will be, i.e. how much will I get in Social Security income?

Social Security Disability income, or the dollar amount of benefits a person can expect to receive upon qualifying for disability, is based on an individual’s earnings prior to becoming disabled.

Each year, a person works and pays payroll taxes and this posts an amount on their Social Security earnings record. The monthly disability benefit amount they may receive is equal to the amount they would receive if they were already full retirement age.

Will my family or children receive money?

Social Security Disability also offers additional income to the family or dependents of a disabled worker if they have worked enough for there to be money left on their record after they are paid their monthly disability benefits. Social Security could potentially pay a monthly benefit to the individual's spouse and dependent children.

If you would like to get an estimate of what your disability benefit would be and the amount that might be available for your dependents, you can contact your local Social Security office.

Is there a set amount?

There is no standard Social Security income disability amount; consequently the amount can be very high or very low. It really all depends upon an individual’s earnings record prior to become disabled. In fact, some individuals have Social Security Disability benefits that are so low that they are still eligible to receive SSI benefits as well. In these cases, there generally is no extra amount on the record to be paid to dependents.

How can you get Social Security Disability?

If you have not been able to work for the previous twelve months, or you expect not to be able to work for twelve months due to a mental or physical condition, or you have a medical condition that is considered to be terminal, you should consider filing to receive Social Security Disability income.

All Social Security Disability programs begin with filing a claim with the Social Security Administration; this will usually involve a disability interview with a Social Security claims representative in person at your local Social Security office.

What happens during a Social Security Disability interview?

The Social Security claims representative will ask you questions about your medical history (names, phone numbers and addresses, and dates of treatment for all of the clinics, hospitals, and physicians you have seen at in the last twelve months).

Additionally, you will be asked about your work history, which simply means what types of jobs you have had over the last fifteen years, and about how long you performed each type of job.

Social Security considers your medical and/or mental conditions, work history, and your education when making a final decision on your disability claim. Once you have provided all of this information to Social Security, your claim is sent to the state disability processing agency for a medical determination.

How long will the disability claim take?

The processing time for a disability claim generally take between thirty and ninety days, although some claims may take less than thirty days while others may take over ninety days. If your disability claim is denied, you may have to begin the appeal process, which may take several months, or more than two years if you have to have an administrative law judge hearing to determine your medical disability.

If Social Security determines that you are disabled under the rules and regulations of Social Security Disability, you will be approved (for Social Security Disability or SSI) and will receive a monthly monetary disability benefit. Most likely, you will also receive back pay as well (back pay is often payable back to the time of your application, but your onset date must be proven with your medical records).

SSI disability versus Social Security Disability

Social Security Disability is based upon insured status which is based upon the earnings that you performed prior to becoming disabled.

If you have not worked enough to be insured for Social Security Disability or it is determinated that you would receive a very small amount of Social Security Disability (possibly because you have not worked much over the years, worked on a cash basis, or were self employed), you may not be able receive Social Security Disability.

In that case, you may qualify for SSI, the need-based program also known as Supplemental Security Income. However, the Social Security claims representative at the social security office will go over all of that with you at the time of your disability interview.

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:

Will the income of a Spouse Affect My Disability Benefits?
How Much Income Can A Person Earn If He Draws Social Security Disability?
Social Security Disability - What is considered earned income versus unearned income according to the SSA?
How important is reporting income for those who currently receive disability benefits?
How much can I get in Social Security Disability Income?
What Determines Social Security Disability Income?
Is there an income limit to be under when you apply for disability?
Applying for disability based on stroke, bipolar disorder, panic attacks, and fatigue
Applying for Disability in Missouri
Will I qualify for SSI disability in Missouri?
Applying for SSI benefits 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.