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What is monthly Social Security disability payment?

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

man holding walker

Each program offers different payment amounts.


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Calculating payments

The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees a variety of programs to provide financial support to nearly 70 million Americans. More than 12% of the beneficiaries receive payments for a disability that has left them out of work. Read more about it here.

Social Security disability payments (SSDI) vary for each individual and are calculated similarly to retirement benefits.

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

Your SSDI monthly benefit will be based on your average covered earnings. The SSA calculates your average indexed month earnings (AIME) from the years worked from 22 until your disability.

AIME is used to determine your primary insurance amount (PIA). The formula is weighted so that lower earners get proportionally higher benefits. PIA is the base amount used to establish your benefit. The severity of your disability doesn’t impact your benefit.


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How much is the benefit?

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

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) also helps disabled people financially. This program is based on financial need, not work history. The benefit rate in 2022 is $841 individual and $1,261 for a couple. SSI is available in all states, but the benefit varies.


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When are the payments sent out?

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

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

SSI payments are scheduled for the first day of the month. That is unless it falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or national holiday. In these instances, the benefit will go out at the very end of the previous month.


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