Most people want an estimate of how much their social security disability check will be before they start the application process. The amount of SSDI will vary between individuals based on different factors such as work history and prior income. However, there are ways to figure out the likely total of your SSDI payments. Discover more about monthly Social Security Disability benefits below.

Monthly Social Security Disability Benefits

SSDI Benefits

Due to the nature of Social Security, to be eligible, one needs to have paid Social Security taxes through their job for a certain period of time. Additionally, a person must be experiencing a medical condition serious enough to meet the definition of “disabled”, as established by the Social Security Administration.

SSDI Qualifications

A person must meet the following basic criteria necessary to qualify for SSDI:

  • Be a United States citizen or legal permanent resident
  • Be younger than age 65 and therefore not old enough for Social Security retirement
  • Have a recent and established work history that meets the minimum length required by the Social Security Administration
  • Be considered disabled based on the Social Security Administration’s definition

How to Determine Your SSDI Payment Amount

The amount you receive through SSDI payments is determined by your income prior to filing a claim. The more money you paid for social security in the past, the more you will be able to collect if you are awarded disability payments.

Your disability payment will only be a percentage of your average earnings from before. If your income was $42,000 annually, your disability benefits would total an estimated $18,700 for the year. This is approximately 45 percent of your original income. If approved, you will receive confirmation from the Social Security Administration that also indicates how much you will receive each month. In April 2016, the average monthly benefit paid to all disability recipients was $1,022.

Collecting SSDI Backpay

If you are approved for SSDI benefits, it is also possible that you qualify for backpay. The amount you collect is based on whatever date the Social Security Administration establishes for the onset of your disability. If you are eligible, you will receive one lump-sum check for your total backpay. However, payments from a five-month waiting period required for all claimants will be deducted from your total prior to issuing the check.

SSI Benefits

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) refers to monthly payments to individuals with low income and sparse resources. The SSI program is funded by revenue from federal taxes, not the Social Security taxes that fund SSDI.

SSI Qualifications

To be eligible for SSI benefits, the following criteria must be met:

  • You must have a medical condition that meets the SSA’s definition of “disabled”
  • You must be a United States citizen
  • You must have an income below the threshold established by the SSA
  • You must have limited resources

In April 2016, the average monthly check total from SSI benefits was $541. It is possible to earn other income and retain your SSI, but the amount you can earn is determined by each state.

As a general rule, your income cannot exceed your monthly SSI payment or the Federal Benefit Rate. It is important to note that not all of your extra income is counted toward this total. For example, the first $65 of your paycheck, any housing assistance, food stamps, or private non-profit assistance is not counted.

The other factor in determining SSI eligibility is your access to resources. The SSA defines a resource as something you own that could be converted into cash in order to support yourself. Usually these resources are stocks, bonds, real estate, or other bank accounts. Resource limits vary by state but usually cannot exceed $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a couple.

Other resources – such as your home, car, burial plots, or life insurance valued at less than $1,500 – do not count toward the SSA resource total.

Concurrent SSI & SSDI Benefits

It is certainly possible to receive both of these benefits simultaneously. However, it is important to file for both at the same time when you start your initial claim. Consulting with an attorney is a great way to determine whether you qualify for both benefits and to determine what options you may have in filing.