The estimated average Social Security disability benefit amount for a disabled worker receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) in January 2019 is $1,234 per month, but a beneficiary can receive either less than this or up to $2,861. These benefits are based on average lifetime earnings, not on household income or how severe the individual’s disability is.
If you’ve kept your annual Social Security statement, or have an online account with Social Security, you can find what you are likely to receive in the Estimated Benefits section.
The total amount a disabled worker and his or her family can receive is about 150% to 180% of the disabled worker’s benefit. Eligible family members can include a spouse, divorced spouse, children, a disabled child and/or an adult child disabled before age 22.
What Are Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security disability benefits come from payroll deductions required by the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) to cover the cost of Social Security benefits such as retirement, spousal and survivors’ benefits. Some of this funding goes into the Disability Insurance Trust Fund and pays for disability benefits.
According to the Social Security website, to qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you must have worked a certain length of time in jobs covered by Social Security. Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the last 10 years, ending with the year you became disabled. You must also have a medical condition that meets Social Security’s definition of disability.
Social Security Disability Insurance should not be confused with Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which pays benefits to those who have financial need regardless of their work history. These two names sound similar, but the qualifications to get the payments and what you might receive are very different.