Have You Been Injured?
Get Your Free Case Review

How Are Social Security Disability Payments Calculated in South Carolina?

A woman in a wheelchair out and about in South Carolina.

If you’ve suffered an injury and can no longer work, then you might be wondering how you will support yourself. In circumstances like these, many people choose to file for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments. SSDI can help support you as long as you are unable to work, and it’s a system that many people in the United States rely on.

When someone applies for SSDI for the first time, one of their primary questions is, “How are Social Security disability payments calculated?” Keep reading to discover what factors into calculating SSDI payments, and find out when you need to consult a disability lawyer for help with your application.

Average Payments

An older woman researching disability payments on her phone.Before examining how your SSDI payment will be calculated, it’s a good idea to look at the average payment amount and the maximum level that you can receive. SSDI payments are received monthly, and the current average payment is between $800 and $1,800. The maximum SSDI payment that you can receive in a single month is $3,011.

Covered Earnings

Unlike Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which determines payments based on the severity of your disability, SSDI payments are calculated using your average lifetime earnings. However, these earnings must be ‘covered earnings’. Covered earnings are any money you have received from jobs that pay into the Social Security system. If any portion of your paycheck is withheld for Social Security taxes or FICA, then your earnings will count as covered earnings.

To calculate your SSDI payments, Social Security will examine your average indexed monthly earnings (AIME), which is your covered earnings averaged over a set number of years. Your AIME will then be put into a formula to determine your primary insurance amount (PIA), which is what your SSDI payment will be based on.

SSDI Payment Reductions

A disabled young man researching SSDI with his grandmother.There are certain circumstances where your SSDI payments will be reduced because you are receiving some other form of public payment. For example, if your injury took place at work and you are receiving workers’ compensation benefits, the amount of SSDI funding you are eligible to receive may be reduced. Other public payments that can lower your SSDI payments include military benefits, government retirement benefits, and state-backed temporary disability benefits.

The combined amount of SSDI and other public payments that you receive every month cannot be more than 80% of your pre-injury average earnings. When your payments reach this number, your SSDI payments will be reduced until you are back under the 80% threshold. Private payments, like a private pension or private insurance, do not count against your SSDI.

Because the rules for receiving multiple public payments can differ from state to state, you should make sure to consult a Social Security disability attorney for questions about submitting your application. They can give you advice about your application and give you a better idea about your potential payment amount.

Hire an SSDI Lawyer

When you’re trying to calculate your potential SSDI payment, our experienced team at Harris and Graves is here to help. We can help you navigate the SSDI application process and provide additional insight into how your payments may be calculated. If your application is denied or your payment amount is lower than you believe it should be, give us a call or fill out our online form to find out if we can help you fight the decision.