When people are applying for Social Security Disability benefits they are often facing serious financial hardship. A lack of income due to the disability can create serious financial stress, and the fact that it can take months or even years to be approved for Social Security Disability benefits doesn't help matters any. Because of this, many people find themselves wondering just how much money they will receive if they are approved for Social Security Disability benefits. The answer isn't always simple or straightforward.
One Size Does Not Fit All
When it comes to Social Security Disability benefits, one size does not fit all. How much you receive in monthly Social Security Disability benefits will be determined by a number of factors, including how much money you have paid into the Social Security system and how many of your dependents qualify for auxiliary benefits, if any. Disabled individuals will usually receive the same amount they would have received in retirement benefits had they continued to work to the age of 65.
When you receive your first Social Security Disability payment, you may also receive a large lump sum to cover back payments that are owed to you. This will usually happen if you have to appeal your Social Security Disability claim and are approved for Social Security Disability benefits at a later date.
You are entitled to receive Social Security Disability benefits five months after the onset of your disability. For example, if you became disabled in July 2009 and were approved for Social Security Disability benefits in October of 2010, you would be entitled to ten months of back payments. If your Social Security Disability benefit about is $800 per month, this would mean that you could receive $8,000 in Social Security Disability back payments.
Not everyone who is approved for Social Security Disability benefits will receive back payments, but the number of applicants who do receive back payments is quite high.
If your income meets certain guidelines set forth by the Social Security Administration, you may also qualify for Supplemental Security Income benefits in addition to qualifying for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. Supplemental Security Income, also known as SSI, is a needs-based program operated at the state level. Supplemental Security Income benefits do not exceed $674 per month for an individual and $1,011 per month for a couple. Not all Social Security Disability applicants who qualify for SSI will receive the full benefit amount. In some instances, your SSI benefits may actually be higher since some states supplement SSI payments.
If you have qualified for SSI payments before you began receiving them, you may be eligible for back payments, however, SSI back payments may be paid in installments rather than in one lump sum.
If your SSI back payment amount is more than three times your monthly SSI benefit, then your payments may be divided into three separate installments dated six months apart. The first two installments will be a maximum of three times your monthly benefit amount. The third installment will be for the remainder of back payments due to you.
Determining Your Amounts
The amount you receive in monthly Social Security Disability benefits will be determined by how much you paid into the Social Security system. The amount of your SSI benefits, if any, will be determined by need.
When you receive the letter from the Social Security Administration letting you know that you were approved for Social Security Disability benefits, you will be told what date your Social Security Disability benefits went into effect and how much your monthly payment will be. You can then take the amount of your monthly payment and multiply it by the number of months you have coming to you to see how much you can expect to receive from the Social Security Administration.
If you feel that your monthly benefit amount will be low enough to qualify you for the SSI program, you will need to apply for that benefit as well in order to receive SSI payments. Again, the amount you receive from SSI will depend on your financial need and the amount of your Social Security Disability payments.
While Social Security Disability benefits and Supplemental Security Income payments are not usually high enough to afford an affluent lifestyle, they will help you make ends meet and any back payments owed to you can help you out of any financial bind that a lack of income due to disability may have caused.