You have a Social Security disability benefits are based on the amount of income on which the individual has paid Social Security taxes. The benefits are computed using the "average indexed monthly earnings (AIME)." This is an average of up to 35 years of a worker's indexed earnings.
When figuring out the AIME, Social Security will first adjust a worker's earnings to reflect the change in general wage levels that happened during the worker's years of employment. Social Security will then determine the number of years that a person has worked and then will pick the years with the highest indexed earnings. Once this number is determined, Social Security will apply a formula to compute a beneficiary's "primary insurance amount" or PIA. The percentages of PIA formula are determined by law, but the dollar amounts change annually with changes in the national average wage index.
Depending on when the person starts drawing Social Security, the monthly benefit may be higher or lower than the PIA. Reduced benefits are paid to individuals who retire before his or her retirement age. For those that retire at the age of 62, the benefit will be 25% less than the person's PIA. Similarly, benefits can be higher than the PIA if one retires after the normal retirement age. No delayed retirement credit is given after the age of 69.
If you are eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI, or sometimes just SSD) benefits, the amount you receive each month will be based on your average lifetime earnings before your disability began. It is not based on how severe your disability is or how much income you have. Most SSDI recipients get between $800 and $1,800 per month (the average for 2019 is $1,234). However, if you are receiving disability payments from other sources, as discussed below, your payment may be lowered.
If you receive disability benefits from private a long-term disability insurance policy, these benefits will not affect your SSDI benefits. However, if you receive government-regulated disability benefits, such as workers' comp benefits or temporary state disability benefits, they can affect your SSDI benefits: you cannot receive more than 80% of the average amount you earned before you became disabled in SSDI and other disability benefits. If you do get more, your SSDI or other benefits will be reduced. However, SSI and VA benefits will not reduce your SSDI benefit
How our Norfolk disability lawyers can help
At Kalfus & Nachman PC, we've helped hundreds of people get the disability help they are entitled to. The process of applying for early Social Security Disability benefits can be long and frustrating. Without legal help, it can take up to 2 ½ years to get benefits. Hiring Kalfus & Nachman PC to help you receive these benefits can significantly lessen this waiting period. We have solid experience and understand complicated federal regulations governing Social Security Disability claims. We'll help you get through the system to get the benefits you need. Call us today!