Will Benefits Replace the Work-Related Income I Lost?
Social Security Disability benefits are a safety net established by the federal government for disabled individuals and their families. Social Security Disability benefits are designed to provide financial support to meet living expenses when a worker becomes disabled and unable to work and support themselves or a family.
Your social security disability benefits can be a considerable amount; but it may or may not replace the exact amount of monthly income to which you are accustomed. Your prior earnings before disablement may have been significantly higher.
Monthly Social Security Disability Payment Amounts
Your Social Security Disability benefits depend on if and how much you paid in Social Security taxes before becoming disabled. The taxes you paid as a percentage of your income were invested in the Social Security trust fund to provide for retirement, disability, and other federal benefit programs.
Regardless of the percentage you may have paid into Social Security, Social Security Disability benefits have an established maximum monthly payment. If you were formerly in a low-income tax bracket, the amount of benefits you receive may or may not completely replace your income. In the case of middle-income or high-income workers, you can expect your benefits to fall significantly short of what you previously earned.
The established maximum benefit per month is known as the Federal Benefit Rate (FBR), and it varies from year to year according to inflation and other factors. For 2018, the FBR is $2,788. Your particular payment amount will depend on your average lifetime earnings. The average recipient gets around $1,165 per month. Depending on your average lifetime income and work history, you may qualify for more or less, but you cannot receive more than $2,788 per month in 2018.
Supplemental Security Income Benefits
Supplemental Security Income also provides limited benefits, and an FBR is established for them as well. Individuals cannot receive more than $750 per month, and for married couples where both receive SSI, the combined maximum monthly benefit is $1,125.
Most individuals who receive Supplemental Security Income are not eligible for the maximum benefit due to how the Social Security Administration considers all forms of income and financial resources. Therefore, if you qualify for monthly benefits, you will likely receive considerably less than the maximum amount available.
If you are uncertain about any aspect of your work-related income and how it will affect the amount of Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income benefits you may receive, contact us with your questions. Southeast Disability Advocates has helped thousands of clients through the social security disability application process. Contact us.