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 for as long as you are unable to work and is a system that many people rely on.
When someone applies for SSDI for the first time, one of their primary questions is how their monthly payments will be calculated. Learn how your SSDI payments will be determined and find out when you need to consult an Social Security disability lawyer for help with your application.
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 $1,165. The maximum SSDI payment that you can receive in a single month is $2,2663.
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 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
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, this can lower the amount of SSDI funding you are eligible to receive. Other public payments that can lower your SSDI payments include military benefits, government retirement benefits, and state 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 an Social Security disability lawyer about your claim. A Social Security disability lawyer 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, you should consider consulting a disability lawyer from Harris and Graves, Personal Injury Attorneys. Our legal professionals can help you the SSDI application process and can help you understand how your payments will be calculated. If your application is denied or your payment amount is lower than you believe it should be, we can help you fight the decision.