Social Security Disability Insurance awards paid by the Social Security Administration are based on applicant’s ages and earnings history. The amount of money people who qualify for SSDI receive every month is unique to each recipient. Knowing how much they will receive may help those out of work due to disabling medical conditions plan for the future and aid in providing for them and their families.
Calculating SSDI Benefit Amounts
The SSA uses a complex formula to determine SSDI awards. The formula incorporates benefit recipients’ average indexed monthly earnings and primary insurance amount. People’s AIME is determined by indexing their earnings for up to 35 years, summing up the earnings for the highest indexed years and dividing by the number of months it took to earn them. Recipients’ primary insurance amount is the sum of three fixed percentages of their AIME. For those who become eligible in 2020, the percentages for determining the PIA is 90% of their first $960 of average indexed monthly earnings; 32% of the average indexed monthly earnings between $960 and $5,785 and 15% of the average indexed monthly earnings in excess of $5,785. The primary insurance amount, increased by the annual cost of living adjustment, is the amount people will receive each month for their SSDI benefits.
Social Security Benefit Limits
The SSA does not cap monthly SSDI awards for benefit recipients, but it does limit the amount a family can receive on a given recipient’s record. When people qualify for SSDI, certain family members may also be eligible to collect benefits on their records. Each eligible family member may receive up to 50% of a recipient’s SSDI award; however, no more than between 150% and 180% of a recipient’s award can be paid to his or her family.
The Effect of Other Disability Payments on SSDI Awards
Collecting certain disability benefits or receiving workers’ compensation may reduce people’s SSDI benefit amounts. If they receive SSDI and other public disability aid, the total amount of disability assistance people collect cannot exceed 80% of their average earnings before becoming disabled. While private pensions or other benefits from private sources do not affect SSDI payments, disability benefits paid by the local, state, or federal government do. For example, this includes state temporary disability, civil service disability benefits and local government retirement benefits for a disabling condition.