Monthly Benefit Amount (MBA)

A monthly benefit amount is the amount of money a Social Security Disability recipient receives each month from the Social Security Administration. The amount that a beneficiary receives depends on a number of factors and each Social Security Disability recipient receives a different amount based on the contributing factors.

When the Social Security Administration computes a Social Security Disability beneficiary’s Monthly Benefit amount, the amount of taxes that the individual has paid into the Social Security program as well as the area in which the Social Security Disability recipient lives play a role in how much that beneficiary receives. For example, an individual who has worked for ten years earning $50,000 per year will receive a higher monthly benefit amount than an individual who has worked for six years earning $25,000 per year. However, the past income of a wage earner is not the only contributing factor. The cost of living in the beneficiary’s area plays a role in their monthly benefit amount as well.

Say, for example, that two people have the exact same earnings record. One might assume that their Monthly Benefit Amount from the Social Security Administration would be the same. This is not the case, however, if those individuals live in areas that have different costs of living indexes. For example, an individual who lives in the area of Fort Meyers, Florida would receive a lower Monthly Benefit Amount than an individual who lives in Chicago, Illinois even if they had the exact same earnings record because the cost of living between the two areas differs significantly.

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