How Much will my Monthly Payment Be?

TITLE II – Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits (SSDI)

If you meet the medical and eligibility requirements, the amount you receive each month will be based on your average lifetime earnings before your disability began. It is not based on how severe your disability is or how much income you have. Most SSDI recipients receive between $700 and $1,700 per month (the average for 2017 is $1,171). However, if you are receiving disability payments from other sources, as discussed below, your payment may be reduced.

TITLE XIV -Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Everyone on SSI disability (Supplemental Security Income) is eligible for the same base amount, $735 (in 2017). But your actual monthly SSI payment will depend on whether you have any countable income, whether you are married, and what state you live in.

But most importantly, your actual monthly payment will depend on how much income you or your family brings in or earns and how much of a state supplemental payment (SSP) your state pays, if any.

How Income Affects Your SSI Payment

If you have any income coming in other than SSI, some of it, but not all of it, will be subtracted from your SSI payment.

The SSA will first look to see what income you have is countable. Countable income includes:

  • money you earn from work (you can make a small amount of money and still be eligible for SSI)
  • food or shelter you get for free, or for less than what it’s worth (called “in-kind support and maintenance,” or IKSM)
  • money you get from friends or family
  • other benefits, such as workers’ compensation, unemployment, SSDI, or a pension.

But not all income is subtracted from your SSI payment. Each month, the SSA does not count:

  • the first $20 of any kind of income you receive
  • the first $65 of money you earn from work, plus half of the remainder
  • food stamps
  • income tax refunds, or
  • food or shelter provided by a nonprofit agency.