When you’ve been approved for Social Security disability benefits or are going through the application process, one of the most important questions is going to be “How much will I get every month.” This is a very important question because the cost of living in some areas can be extremely high and you’ll also need prescriptions, transportation, food, clothing and housing. If you’re living on your own without any friends or family support, the amount you receive can be the difference between living in an apartment or living in a homeless shelter.
The two main types of disability, SSDI and SSI, figure out how much you’ll receive in very different ways. SSDI uses your past work history to calculate how much you’ll qualify for and this can vary drastically depending on if you were a skilled, high-paid worker or not. SSI pays everyone the same amount and while it’s not much, it’s enough for most people to be self-sufficient.
How much you’ve paid into the Social Security Administration over the years combined with what type of disability you have will let you know roughly what you’re entitled to. Every year you should receive a Social Security Statement that tells you how much you qualify for and this is the easiest way to estimate your monthly amount you’d receive. You should have this document already but if you don’t you can contact Social Security and request it though it will take up to a month to receive.
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benefits calculators to help as well. These are not 100% accurate as many other factors could play a role as you’re applying but they can be a good guideline to let you know what to expect while waiting for approval.
Average Disability Benefits
Since it’s hard to say how much you’ll get until you’re fully approved, you can find the average payment amounts online. In 2008, for example, the average SSDI payment was $1063 per month and the average SSI benefit was $439. In 2013 so far, the average for SSDI was roughly the same but the average for SSI for March was $527.
Keep in mind, especially with SSI, this is not the maximum benefit amount. Currently that’s $710. It all depends on whether or not you’re working, who you’re living with and how much they make, your housing costs and various things. SSI is needs based and many people can receive both types of benefit at the same time.
When applying for disability benefits, be prepared to wait for at least five months as that’s the average wait time in 2013. To get the best amount of benefits for your situation, you’ll need a lot of information that backs up your disability and this can include witnesses, doctors, co-workers, friends and family and other sources. You’ll also need paycheck stubs, proof of residency, social security card, birth certificate, ID and anything else you can round up that proves your identity and/or will help with the application process.