Understanding Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Payments

Understanding Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Payments

For many people suffering from long-term injuries, their first question about Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is how much they will receive each month in benefits. The exact amount you will receive if you qualify is based on a few factors. Additionally, many applicants are eligible for back pay.

The maximum SSDI benefit as of 2015 is $2,663 per month. The majority of SSDI recipients receive significantly less than this, with most receiving a monthly benefit between $700 and $1,700.Your SSDI benefits are calculated through a complex formula based on your work history and the amount that you have paid into the Social Security system. To further complicate things, this formula changes over time, and yearly cost-of-living adjustments can increase your benefits.

Your payment is calculated using two main factors. The first is your average indexed monthly earnings (AIME). The second is “bend points,” which work almost like tax brackets. You receive a certain percentage of your average wages below each bend point. For example, applicants in 2011 were entitled to 90 percent of the first $749 they earned, 32 percent of the rest of their average wages up to $4,517 and 15% of anything above that. You can check your earnings on the Social Security website.

If your SSDI claim is successful, you will likely receive back pay. This money is intended to compensate you for the time it took for the Social Security Administration to approve your claim. The amount is based on the date you applied. You may also be eligible for retroactive benefits. These benefits are calculated by determining when you first became unable to work. In practice, most approved applicants get both of these payments as one lump sum once their claim is approved.

In addition to your monthly payment, your successful SSDI claim will entitle you to Medicare benefits. Once approved, these benefits start two years and five months after the date you became disabled. Because most people experience some delays in SSDI approval, Medicare benefits often start immediately upon approval or soon after. An experienced Fayetteville SSDI attorney may be able to help you speed up the approval process.

Your family members may qualify for auxiliary benefits.  These benefits are available in certain cases to spouses, ex-spouses, minor children and disabled adult children. Benefits may also pass to other relatives after your death. The calculations involved in determining benefits for family members can be quite complicated. To better understand them, you should contact a knowledgeable SSDI attorney.

The Arkansas SSDI attorneys at the Martin Law Firm help clients in the Fayetteville area understand and apply for SSDI and SSI benefits. Contact us today online or call us at to plan a free initial consultation.