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How Much Money Do You Get For Disability?

This is a very common question we face when taking on a new client. Typically, the amount of disability you’ll receive depends on the program you qualify for and the date you apply for disability .

How much money you are awarded depends on whether your application was for SSI (Supplemental Security Income) or SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance).


For an SSI recipient – the full monthly federal benefit is fixed and is subject to annual increases. In 2012, the federal base payment was $698. However, you will likely receive more or less than this amount depending on your state and whether it pays an extra state supplemental payment or whether you make any income. For more information, see our article on how much SSI pays.

In contrast, the monthly benefit for a Social Security disability recipient depends on prior earnings: how much and how long an employee worked and paid into the Social Security system. For more information, see our article on how much SSDI pays.

In neither case does the disability payment depend on how disabled you are (unlike other programs for injured or disabled persons, such as workers’ compensation and veterans disability).

Back Payments of Benefits


Most disability applicants who are approved for benefits also receive some type of back payments or retroactive disability benefits. The amount of bckpay you’ll get depends on whether you get SSDI or SSI and when you applied for disability. For more information, see our section on Social Security disability back payments.

The basic monthly SSI payment for 2012 is the same nationwide. It is:

  • $698 for one person; or
  • $1,048 for a couple.

Not everyone gets the same amount. You may get more if you live in a state that adds money to the federal SSI payment. You may receive less if you or your family have other income. Where and with whom you live also makes a difference in the amount of your SSI payment.

The amount of your monthly disability benefit is based on your lifetime average earnings covered by Social Security.  If you don’t already have an estimate, you can get your Social Security Statement online or use our Benefit Calculators to determine how much you would get if you became disabled right now.

For more information about your benefits, refer to the following:

When Your Benefits Start

If your application is approved, your first Social Security benefit will be paid for the sixth full month after the date we find that your disability began.

For example, if your disability began on June 15, 2011, your first benefit would be paid for the month of December 2011, the sixth full month of disability.

Social Security benefits are paid in the month following the month for which they’re due. This means that the benefit due for December would be paid to you in January 2012, and so on.

Article by , J.D. via Disability Secrets 

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