Once you’ve successfully navigated the five-step evaluation process and qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you may be eager to understand the financial support you’ll receive monthly. The Social Security Administration (SSA) employs a complex, ever-evolving formula to determine disability benefit amounts, considering factors like inflation, shifts in average income, and other disability-related payments you might receive.

Factors Influencing Your Social Security Disability Benefits:

The amount of your monthly SSDI payments hinges primarily on your lifetime earnings prior to the onset of your disability. In contrast, SSI payments are solely based on financial need. Contrary to a common misconception, the severity of your disability doesn’t dictate the benefit amount, as it does in workers’ compensation and other insurance schemes.

You’ve likely noticed deductions on your paychecks designated for Social Security (typically through FICA). These deductions ensure your eligibility for Disability Insurance benefits in the event of a disability. The sum you’ve contributed to Social Security throughout your life via these payroll deductions plays a pivotal role in determining your SSDI payment. Suppose you need to figure out your earnings history. You can access your earnings report and estimate disability benefits on the Social Security Administration’s website. Click “My Social Security” and follow the website’s home page instructions.

Supplemental Security Income functions differently, as it is needs-based. Here, past earnings don’t matter. Instead, the SSA considers your current income, marital status, and living arrangements when calculating SSI benefits. Our law firm’s SSI attorney can clarify which types of income will affect your Social Security Disability claim and identify any applicable exemptions in your case.

Average SSI and SSDI Payments:

Monthly disability benefits have limits. In 2023, the average SSDI payment amounted to roughly $1,303 per month. Additionally, the cap for SSI is $914 for an individual and $1,371 for a couple. Upon approval, you’ll likely qualify for back pay, which compensates for the benefits you would have received between your application date and approval.

These figures change annually, so it’s essential to consult your local Tulsa disability lawyers for the most up-to-date Social Security benefits data.

Possible Increases in Social Security Disability Payments:

Inflation raises the cost of living each year, affecting expenses such as food, clothing, and housing. To counteract this, the SSA recalculates your benefits annually, making adjustments to your payments as necessary. These recalculations, known as cost-of-living adjustments (COLA), are the primary method for increasing your benefits.

In some cases, if your SSDI payments are exceptionally low, you might qualify for SSI benefits concurrently. This situation referred to as concurrent benefits, can provide extra support if your work history is limited. However, SSI calculations consider your SSDI income, potentially preventing you from receiving the maximum SSI benefit amount.

Managing Disability Benefits While Returning to Work:

It’s possible to qualify for SSDI benefits for a disability that temporarily prevents you from working. If you can return to full-time employment and earn income, your Social Security Disability benefits may cease in Oklahoma. However, determining when you’re fully healthy and capable of working can be challenging, especially if your profession involves extended periods of sitting, standing, or physical activity.

To address this uncertainty, the SSA offers a trial work period (TWP) during which you can return to work for up to nine months within a five-year span. You’ll continue to receive your full SSDI benefits during this period. These months need not be consecutive, and the work performed must constitute substantial gainful activity (SGA), meaning you must earn over $1,470 monthly to count toward your trial work period. If you find that returning to work during your TWP is too taxing, you can stop working and still receive uninterrupted disability payments.

For In-Depth Information on Calculating Social Security Disability Benefits, Reach Out to an SSDI Attorney Today:

Social Security Disability law is intricate and our exclusive focus at the Social Security Law Center. With years of experience in SSDI and SSI claims, we can address any queries you may have. Specifically, we can elucidate how the SSA computes Social Security Disability benefits in Oklahoma. Contact us today with any questions.