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Seeking Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits can be a long and challenging process. Whether you are mulling a decision to start this process or find yourself in the middle of it, you may be wondering: How much will I get paid in Social Security?
It may help you to know what you can expect to receive in your monthly benefits payment if and when your application is approved. It may also help you to know how other benefits that you and your family receive may impact that amount.
To give you a better picture, we explain below how the Social Security Administration (SSA) determines monthly benefits payments. We also point you to online resources that can help you to calculate an estimate for yourself.
Of course, the best step you can take is to contact attorney Frank M. Eidson. Since 1989, he has helped people with disabilities in Orlando, Winter Park and throughout Florida to obtain the benefits they deserve. He will take the time to explain the SSD benefits process to you and help you to estimate your benefits. Simply call or reach us online today.
The SSA uses a two-stage process to calculate SSD benefits amounts.
First, the SSA calculates your Average Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME). In other words, the SSA will adjust your earnings from past years so they align with current wage levels. This involves four basic steps. The SSA will:
Second, the SSA will determine your Primary Insurance Amount (PIA). This is your basic benefit amount. It is equal to the sum of the following “bend points.” In the year 2015, the PIA would be the sum of:
So, let’s say your AIME is $3,744 (as above). Your PIA would equal the sum of:
[0.90 x 826] + [0.32 x (3,744 – 826)] = $1,677.16.
This amount would be subject to a cost of living adjustment (COLA) each year to reflect any increases in the consumer price index (CPI).
Was this math confusing? Don’t worry. You can go to the SSA website and use the basicOnline Calculator or Detailed Calculator to get an estimate. You can also create your ownonline SSA account and see an estimate of your benefits.
To see the average monthly benefits that are being paid to claimants, you can check out the SSA’s monthly snapshot.
You may wonder: Will my SSD benefits payments be reduced if I receive benefits through another program such as workers’ compensation or if members of my family receive disability benefits, too? The short answer is yes.
The SSA will add up all of the benefits you receive. If the total amount is greater than 80 percent of your “average current earnings,” then that excess amount will be subtracted from your benefits payment check.
Typically, your average current earnings reflect your average monthly pay during the year in which you reached your highest earnings during the five-year period before your disability arose.
In addition to getting monthly benefits, you may also be eligible to receive back payments. You can collect benefits going to back to either:
You can also receive benefits that cover up to 12 months before the protective or actual filing date if your “established onset date,” or the date on which your disability arose, falls within that period.
You can start to receive benefits once five months have passed from your established onset date. You should receive payments for as long as you are disabled and cannot work.
If you would like to discuss the calculation of disability benefits payments in more detail and receive an estimate of the amount you may be eligible to receive, contact Frank M. Eidson, P.A. We would be glad to meet with you in a free consultation and help you to seek the full amount of benefits you deserve. Call or reach us online today to get started.
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