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How Is The Monthly Amount Of Social Security Disability Payments Configured?

Houston, TX |

How is the SSDI benefit amount calculated? Is it an average of income (or FICA paid) based upon the last day of SGA, the accepted onset date, the date of application, the date of favorable decision, etc? If one received a favorable decision, what variables are taken into consideration for determining the benefit amount? For each Social Security yearly statement, there is a section that reads "if you became disabled right now, your payment would be about..." how accurate is that calculation?

Attorney Answers 3

  1. The annual statement one receives from Social Security are estimates. When Social Security disability benefits are awarded, the benefit amount is the claimant's "principal insurance amount" (PIA) which is calculated based on earnings taxed. That number is unique to every wage-earner, and the formula is available on The first month in pay status will be the month following the 5-calendar-month "waiting period" after the onset date determined in the favorable decision.
    This information will be included in a Notice of Award issued days or weeks after the decision.

    Best wishes for an outcome you can understand, and please remember to designate a best answer.

    This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.

  2. The estimate is fairly accurate as it is based on the information the SSA presently has on file. The amount could change if the information changes or new laws are enacted that alters the amount. You can find a quick estimate of earnings at . It will provide an estimate based on the year you were born and the earnings on which you paid contribution.

  3. The calculations you refer to are just estimates. The exact calculations are done by computer at the appropriate time- retirement, or when a disability claim is approved.

    The exact answers to questions like this require more information than presented. The answer(s) provided should be considered general information. The information provided by this is general advice, and is not legal advice. Viewing this information is not intended to create, and does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. It is intended to educate the reader and a more definite answer should be based on a consultation with a lawyer. You should not take any action that might affect your claim without first seeking the professional opinion of an attorney. You should consult an attorney who can can ask all the appropriate questions and give legal advice based on the exact facts of your situation. The general information provided here does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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