Monday, June 29, 2009



How Much Can You get in Monthly Social Security Disability Benefits?

Here's a question I was recently asked by someone inquiring on behalf of a family member. How much can a person get in monthly social security disability benefits?

Well, let's start with the very basics. Social Security administers two disability programs, Social Security disability (title 2 benefits) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI, title 16 benefits). The amount of an individual’s disability benefit depends upon the disability program they are entitled to.

Social Security disability is based upon an individual’s work history; meaning Social Security calculates an individual’s disability benefit based upon their earnings. Consequently, there is a wide variety in the monthly amount of Social Security benefits paid to title 2 disability beneficiaries. Of course, Social Security disability does provide additional money for dependents, if the disabled individual's earnings were high enough. This will mean more money for a family if the dependents are in the same household as the disabled individual.

Supplemental Security Income disability is based solely upon need; therefore the government regulates the maximum monthly disability benefit amount payable. This amount increases somewhat each year but is generally a lower amount than Social Security disability. Also, SSI disability has no additional monies available for dependents of disabled individuals because it a need based program. In other words, if you have disabled minor-age children, you will need to file a separate disability application for child SSI benefits.

Some individual’s have Social Security disability benefits that are so low that they may be entitled to receive additional money from the Supplemental Security Income disability program as well. This is when the amount of title 2 benefits they would receive are less than the full SSI monthly benefit that is currently paid. In such cases, the social security administration will typically take a concurrent application (disability claims in both the SSD and SSI programs, that will effectively be evaluated as one single claim by the disability examiner who is assigned to the case at the state disability processing agency). However, both disability benefits combined--social security disability and SSI--cannot exceed the monthly SSI benefit amount.

In conclusion, there is not a specific limit as to what an individual’s monthly disability amount may be. But if an individual is entitled to a Social Security disability benefit, their benefit will most often be higher than an individual who is entitled to SSI only.


Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog




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