Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Will Your Social Security Disability Monthly Amount Change?

When you file for Social Security disability, Social Security uses a computation that considers your work years prior to becoming disabled in order to determine what your monthly Social Security disability benefit is. Since the monthly benefit amount is based upon the years you have worked and the amount of your earnings, it is understandable that monthly disability benefit amounts may vary greatly.

The Social Security disability computation favors individuals who have had low earnings, fewer years of work, or younger individuals. Sometimes individuals who have worked consistently but at lower wages might have a lower benefit than that of a younger disabled beneficiary with fewer years of work.

So back to the question: Will your Social Security disability monthly amount change? There are only a couple of things that might increase your Social Security disability benefit.

One of the reasons your Social Security disability benefit may increase is work activity. If you, for some reason, continue to work, you might increase your benefit if your Social Security benefit is low. If you have a low benefit amount, it most likely means there are years that you had zero earnings, so each year that you work could take the place of a year in which you have low earnings or no earnings. This could occur even if you are earning under the SGA limit each month (substantial gainful activity is a monthly earnings amount that Social Security considers to be self supporting). Since your Social Security computation is based upon your earnings, there is a chance that even low earnings could help your disability benefit computation.

The only other way your disability benefit amount could change would be if Social Security gives a yearly cost of listing increase. Generally, these increases occur in December and are tied to the inflation rate.

Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog

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