What is the monthly Social Security disability payment?

The Social Security Administration runs two programs to financially support people with disabilities.

Each program offers different payout amounts.

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Calculation of payments

The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees a variety of programs to provide financial support to nearly 70 million Americans. More than 12% of beneficiaries receive benefits for a disability that left them unemployed. Learn more here.

Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) vary for each individual and are calculated the same way as retirement benefits.

The SSA looks at your earnings in the years after you turn 22 until you become disabled. In order to get disability benefits, you must meet the definition of disability established by law.

Your monthly SSDI benefit will be based on your average covered earnings. The SSA calculates your Average Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME) from years worked from age 22 until you become disabled.

AIME is used to determine your primary insurance amount (PIA). The formula is weighted so that low-income people get proportionally higher benefits. The PIA is the base amount used to establish your benefit. The severity of your disability does not affect your benefits.

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What is the benefit?

The average SSDI benefit for a disabled worker is approximately $1,358.30. The maximum benefit you could get in 2022 is $3,345 per month. The SSA has a benefits calculator.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) also helps people with disabilities financially. This program is based on financial need, not work history. The benefit rate in 2022 is $841 for a single person and $1,261 for a couple. SSI is available in all states, but benefits vary.

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When are payments sent?

Social Security benefits are staggered throughout the month to make it easier for SSA. The delivery date is based on the recipients’ birthday:

  • date of birth 1-10: second Wednesday of the month
  • date of birth 11-20: third Wednesday of the month
  • date of birth 21-31: fourth Wednesday of the month

SSI payments are scheduled for the first day of the month. Unless it falls on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday. In these cases, the benefit will be paid at the very end of the previous month.

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Elaine R. Knight