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How Much Will The Social Security Disability Insurance Benefit Be?

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The intent of Social Security is to give you the same benefit while you are disabled that you would have been eligible for had you continued working to Full Retirement Age.

The amount of benefits varies depending on the amount of reported earnings over your working career and the age at which you become disabled. Theoretically, it can be any amount from $1.00 to $1,600 per month or more.

There is no simple formula that tells you exactly how much you will get in SSDI benefits. Even if you get a figure from Social Security, it is only an estimate. The exact benefit can't be determined until you actually apply for benefits.

You can obtain an estimate of your disability benefit in three different ways:

  • Statement mailed each year: If you are over age 25 and not collecting a Social Security benefit, every year, you should receive a Benefit Statement from Social Security. The statement includes:
    • Your reported earnings.
    • Social Security and Medicare taxes paid by year.
    • Estimated retirement benefit.
    • Estimated disability benefit.
  • Instant Estimate: www.Social Security.gov/planners/calculators.htm offsite link is a Social Security site that provides three different methods of estimating your benefits, from a rough estimate to a more accurate written statement that is mailed to you.
  • Delayed Estimate: If you provide the information requested at http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/anypia/anypia.html offsite link, you will receive by mail, in 2 to 4 weeks, an Estimated Statement of Benefits including an estimated Social Security Disability Insurance Benefit amount.
    • The site is not open 24/7. The hours it is open are posted on the site.
    • To obtain your estimate, you need to provide:
      • Your name as shown on your Social Security Card.
      • Your Social Security Number.
      • Your date and place of birth.
      • Mother's maiden name - last name only.
    • It will help obtain a more accurate estimate if you also provide: your last years' earnings, an estimate of your current earnings and the age at which you plan to stop work (i.e. become disabled).

Cost of Living Increase: Social Security benefit are increased each year by a Cost of Living increase factor. The amount of increase is determined in the fall the year. It takes effect January 1. The Cost of Living Increase (sometimes referred to as COLA) reflects the rise in the general cost of living for the past year. The amount varies each year. 


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