First, there is a difference between Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSDI benefit amounts vary for each individual and are based on the person’s average earnings before he or she became disabled. SSI benefits are a set amount paid to low-income disabled people who have not paid enough into the Social Security system to be eligible for SSDI.
For an individual, the easiest way to find out what your disability benefit amount would be is to view your Social Security statement. You can view your statement by logging in or creating an account at the My Social Security website. The benefit amount is calculated according to a formula based on the income on which you have paid Social Security taxes. If you are not able to create or use a My Social Security account, you can get an estimate of your expected benefit by using the Social Security benefit calculator.
SSDI Benefit Amount
The majority of SSDI recipients receive a monthly payment of between $300 and $2,200. In 2017, the average SSDI payment for an unmarried individual is $1,171. The cost-of-living adjustment for 2017 was 0.3 percent, so benefits increased very little from 2016 to 2017.
SSDI benefits are not affected by the recipient’s other income or assets, except for other disability benefits regulated by the government, such as temporary state disability benefits or workers’ compensation. If these total more than 80 percent of the average amount you earned before you began receiving disability benefits, then your SSDI benefits may be reduced.
SSI Benefit Amount
SSI benefits, by contrast, are not based on an individual’s past earnings. They are a set amount, which may increase annually based on cost-of-living adjustments, and may be reduced based on the recipient’s current income and assets. The 2017 federal maximum is $735 per month for an eligible individual and $1,103 for an eligible individual with an eligible spouse. There was a slight cost-of-living increase from the 2016 amounts of $733 for an eligible individual and $1,100 for an eligible individual with an eligible spouse. Some states have an optional state supplement that adds to the federal benefit amount.
In Florida, SSI recipients may receive food assistance through SUNCAP (food stamps) without an additional application. Florida does not have a general state supplement to SSI the way some states do, so the SSI amount in Florida is just the federal maximum of $735 per month for an eligible individual and $1,103 for an eligible individual with an eligible spouse. Florida has an Optional State Supplementation, but that is only for people in residential treatment facilities such as group homes or assisted living.
Please Note: Some questions from readers have also been answered, but we have closed comments for now as our time to answer questions is limited. Any answers are for informational purposes only; they do not constitute legal advice and do not establish an attorney-client relationship.
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The information on this website does not constitute legal advice. Your use of this website, including the email contact form or comments form, does not establish an attorney-client relationship. In Florida, Brendan Conley practices Social Security disability law exclusively. Copyright Brendan Conley 2013-2018.