February 22, 2020

How Much Will I Get if I Win?

When you are approved for SSDI benefits, the amount of your monthly disability payment is based on our contribution from your payroll taxes into Social Security.  Unlike Social Security retirement, however, disability looks at your contributions during the ten year period ending with the year you became disabled.

You can get a printout from Social Security showing how much you will get from disability – the form to use is SSA-7004 and you can download it here.

Average amounts of SSDI or SSI monthly benefits

In our years of experience, we have seen SSDI benefits range from as little as $100 per month to $1,800 per month. The average SSDI benefit is roughly $1,500 per month but that figure can vary depending on you and your particular case.

SSI payments are not based on your earnings record but are set by SSA each year. In 2017, the maximum SSI benefit payable to a disabled (non-blind) individual is $735. This figure changes every year. However, SSI payments are subject to offsets (the “deeming rules”) if the claimant has a working spouse or receives room and board from a friend or family member.

A word about “back benefit” checks and “lump sum” payments

You may or may not have heard the expression “lump sum” payments which are payments that the SSA issues in order to cover any past due benefits that you have yet to receive. Usually, these are rather large checks retroactive to the time you became disabled and could no longer work. These are also referred to as “back benefit” checks. Because claim processing delays now last 2 to 3 years, lump sum payments can be tens of thousands of dollars.

  • If you hire a lawyer, he gets paid 25% of past due benefits with a cap of $6,000.  Your lawyer has an ethical obligation to work towards a speedy approval of your case, but there is certainly no financial benefit to the lawyer from Social Security’s long delays since legal fees are capped.

If you are filing for SSDI, you can collect benefits up to 12 months prior to the date of your application (assuming your medical record supports this earlier “onset date”).  If you are filing for SSI, you can only collect benefits as of the date of your application.

If you have more questions regarding the above issues or need help with your disability case, please feel free to contact our office. Use the contact form on this page to request help.