The Most Important Financial Issues With Social Security Disability

The number one question on every client’s mind when they hire our attorneys is, “How much is my claim for benefits worth?” It’s an understandable bit of information to want to possess. When your finances are in peril because of a disability or illness, you just want a leg up, and knowing what to expect in the form of Social Security Disability can provide just that. How examiners calculate final benefits for approved applicants is complicated, as most government programs are, but our Pennsylvania and New Jersey disability attorneys can explain a rough outline of the process.

Minimum and Maximum Payments

The bottom row and the ceiling on disability payments vary by year because the fed adjusts it relative to the annual cost of living in the country. For 2013, the minimum and maximum monthly payments are roughly $300 and $2,533. The average payment for the same year is $1,132. Does that mean you’ll receive this amount of aid? No. All it means is that most people do, so you stand an average chance of recovering that amount. It all depends on your financial situation and how your injury or illness affects your daily life.

Calculating your Monthly Disability Check

The Social Security Administration bases your benefit amount in large part on how much money you’ve paid in taxes over your working life. From there, the SSA uses an intricate weighted formula to calculate your “average indexed monthly earnings” or AIME. Each year of earnings carries a different percentage weight that examiners use to determine a new figure, your primary insurance amount or PIA. If you have questions about the inner workings of the process, our lawyers can walk you through the calculations during our free consultation.

You can also review the entirety of you earnings history by visiting the SSA’s website and clicking through to the “my statement” section. The same area also has a benefits calculator section, which can give you a rough estimate of the payment you might receive barring other factors. What other factors might those be? Glad you asked.

Factors that Reduce Monthly Benefits

If you’re receiving disability payments from a private insurance provider, that money won’t affect what you get from the federal government. However, if you’re working or obtaining disability income from a state government source or worker’s compensation, that can lower the amount coming in from Social Security Disability. As a rule, you cannot recover more than 80 percent of your average working income in disability payments from SSDI. If you do, there’s going to be a reduction in your aid.

If you are suffering with an injury or illness that doctors expect to prevent you from working for a year or more, you may be able to file for disability benefits with the federal government. This fund isn’t an entitlement, but a source of financial assistance that you’ve already paid into through working. It’s your right. Call our law offices today to receive a free consultation, and as always, if we don’t recover benefits, there’s no charge for our services.

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