Social Security Administration uses a complex formula to determine monthly payments
Once determining you are eligible for Social Security disability benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) calculates your monthly payments based on the amount of wages on which you’ve paid Social Security taxes throughout your lifetime. You may have noticed on your pay stub the most significant tax deduction comes from the FICA tax, which funds both Social Security and Medicare. Part of that tax is used to fund the Social Security Disability Insurance program, which assists workers who have become disabled and can no longer work.
The SSA uses two factors in determining your monthly disability benefits, your Average Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME) and your Primary Insurance Amount (PIA). The AIME is a monthly average of your highest earning years after you turned 21, up to 35 working years. SSA adjusts your AIME to account for variations in income as well as standard of living increases that occurred over the course of your life.
Your PIA, which is used to determine your benefit base amount, is a bit more complex. SSA applies different fixed percentages to your AIME. For example, your PIA base might be the sum of 90% of the first $749 of your AIME, 32% of the next $3,768 of your AIME, and 15% for anything earned above that, up to a maximum benefit.
The SSA established a maximum benefit in 2015 of $2,663, however, most people receive far less. The average SSDI monthly benefit payment is $1,165. Luckily, you don’t have to do this calculation alone and worry about whether you have determined, the correct amount. The SSA has a helpful online calculator, though you’ll need to have your Social Security Statement handy to enter your past earnings. Our experienced Brandon Social Security disability attorney is also a helpful resource in ensuring you have done the calculations correctly.
There are other factors potentially affecting the amount of benefits you receive. For example, your monthly benefit may be reduced if you’ve received other payments such as workers’ compensation. On the other hand, you may be entitled to a back payment for the time you waited between applying for and receiving your disability benefits approval. Again, our experienced Brandon Social Security disability attorney walks you through this process and ensures you receive the benefits to which you are entitled.
At the Golden Law Group, it is our mission to make sure you receive the SSD benefits you deserve when you need them most. If your initial claim has been denied and you need to appeal, or you have any questions regarding your monthly benefits calculation, don’t wait to seek help. Call us at 813-375-0098 or contact us online for a free consultation. We have offices located in Brandon and Bradenton for your convenience.