How much can I expect to receive after approval for Social Security disability benefits?

Like many things involving the government, calculating how much money you will receive after getting approved for Social Security disability benefits is complicated. 

The formula applied by the Social Security Administration is neither easy to understand nor easy to describe. And even if you understand the formula, the actual amount of money you receive might differ, depending on the circumstances.

If you want to be certain how much money you should receive, the best option is to speak to a Social Security disability attorney who understands the system and has experience calculating exact benefits. The attorney can determine how much you should be receiving and help you apply without making mistakes that would cost you money.

If you need Social Security disability benefits to make ends meet, you want to make certain that you get paid every dime you deserve. Even a few dollars a month could make a huge difference. The attorneys at Morgan & Morgan have the experience and skills to help you. Contact us immediately to get a free case evaluation and discuss your options.

More answers to commonly asked questions

To calculate your expected Social Security disability benefits amount, the first thing you need to know is the amount of money that you earned in jobs that pay Social Security taxes over the past 35 years (or since you started working, if you aren’t old enough to have worked for 35 years). 

Once you have determined your average monthly income for that entire time, you can start calculating your expected benefits.

For the first $1,024 earned each month, your Social Security benefits amount will increase by 90% of that value. For each dollar you earned between $1,024 and $6,172 per month, the amount of your benefits will increase by 32 cents. Finally, the amount of your benefits will increase by 15% of any amount greater than that.

The short version is that your Social Security benefits amount is roughly equal to your average earnings if those earnings were $1,000 or less per month. 

If you averaged between $1,000 and $6,000 before becoming disabled, your Social Security benefits amount will be approximately half of those earnings. And beyond that, it drops down to roughly 20% to 30% of your average earnings.

If that seems too complicated, you can always apply for Social Security disability benefits and then check to see how much you are getting after you are approved. But if you do that without the assistance of an attorney, you may not be happy with the amount of money you are receiving.

One of the most common questions we get from new clients at Morgan and Morgan is, “How much can I expect to receive after approval for Social Security disability benefits?” And our answer is always, “We can tell you what you should get, but you will only get that much if you follow our instructions.”

The Social Security Administration does not make it easy to get disability benefits. And even if it approves your benefits, you might not get the compensation you deserve. This is because its records of your earnings and payments into the Social Security system may not reflect what you earned or paid. 

Social Security might lower your monthly payments if it believes:

  • You didn’t pay self-employment taxes
  • The job you worked at didn’t pay into the Social Security system
  • You took time off from work
  • You earned less money than your income records indicate

While the Social Security Administration has access to government records, those records can be incomplete. You must preserve records of your income and taxes and provide them when filing for benefits. 

An attorney from Morgan & Morgan will ensure that you submit records that will best support your claim and will help you get the maximum amount of money possible for your disability benefits.

No. Social Security disability benefits increase annually based on a cost of living adjustment. That adjustment is supposed to keep your purchasing power relatively identical to what it was when you first started receiving disability benefits. The purchasing power of your benefits might decrease over time, but not by much.

The Social Security Administration, like most government agencies, acts slowly. This means that you generally won’t receive your first payment for Social Security disability benefits until at least six months after your application date. 

However, this doesn’t mean you lost that money. The Social Security Administration pays you for that time in a single lump sum once your benefits have been approved.

Because government agencies are slow, the last thing you want to do when applying for Social Security disability benefits is to make a mistake. A mistake could cost you thousands of dollars. 

The skilled Social Security disability attorneys at Morgan & Morgan will guide you through providing the right information to maximize your benefits as we navigate the process together.

Contact us using our online form if you need to file for Social Security disability benefits. We’ll help you schedule a free case evaluation and speak with an attorney who can help you file your claim.