There are several factors that affect the amount that people might expect to receive when they are approved for SSDI benefits. The monthly benefit is calculated using a complex formula that takes into account a number of different factors, including the age, earnings and work history of the applicants. Some people may receive as much as 90 percent of their former incomes from SSDI benefits while others might receive much lower percentages.

Factors That Affect Benefits

The Social Security Administration provides a calculator that people can use to get an estimate of the disability benefits they might receive. The applicant’s annual income and the number of work credits earned will impact the amount that he or she might expect. How recently the applicant worked before becoming disabled will also have an impact on the benefits amount. Generally, the longer the person worked and the higher the person’s prior income was, the more that he or she will receive in SSDI benefits. This is subject to the limitation that is provided by the SSA. In 2018, for example, the maximum monthly SSDI benefit amount is $2,788. People who become disabled after earning very high incomes during their working history will be limited to this monthly amount even if it represents a smaller percentage of their incomes.

Understanding the Calculator

If people have accounts with the Social Security Administration, they can log into the website and use the agency’s calculator. The system uses the data that the agency has for the applicants’ work records to provide an estimate of the benefits amount. People should understand that the amount that they see when they use the calculator is simply a ballpark figure and not necessarily what they might actually receive. The calculator estimates the benefits amount based on the expected lifetime earnings of the individual applicant.

Lump Sum Payment

When people apply for SSDI, it may take many months before they are approved. Once they are approved, they will receive a single lump sum payment for benefits back to the date of the disability or the application date in addition to their ongoing monthly disability benefits.