If you cannot work due to a disability, life quickly becomes stressful. You may be struggling to find ways to get the medical care that you need and to handle your monthly living expenses. However, if you have a qualifying disability, you may be eligible to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Those monthly benefits payments can play a major role in your life as you move forward.
Of course, if you qualify for Social Security benefits, you will want to know how much you may receive each month. The answer will depend on many factors, including:
- Type of benefit
- Your earning history
- Your living situation
- Other government benefits.
Here, we take a close look at each of those factors. To discuss the specific facts of your disability case with a law firm that is exclusively dedicated to helping injured workers and those with disabilities throughout the Mahoning Valley, contact Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill, Co., LPA. We can provide a free, no-risk consultation.
Type of Benefit
The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees two types of federal disability benefits programs, along with Ohio Division of Disability Determination (DDD). Those two programs are:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) – This is an insurance program for workers who have developed a disability that prevents them from working.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – This is an entitlement program for those with severe disabilities who have never worked and for poverty-stricken elderly citizens.
You must be disabled to qualify for either type of benefit. However, the specific qualifications for each type of benefit differ. For instance, your eligibility for SSDI benefits will depend on your earning history. Your earning history plays no role in your eligibility for SSI benefits.
Additionally, the amount of each type of benefit differs. They involve the use different factors and formulas in order to arrive at the amount which a person receives in monthly payments. Your eligibility for backpay will also depend on whether you qualify for SSDI or SSI benefits.
Your Earnings History
If you qualify for SSDI benefits, the amount of your monthly benefits payments will depend on what you have paid in Social Security taxes over the years. You can check out your most recent paystub to get an idea of the most recent rate you have been paying. These are called your “covered earnings.”
The SSA will apply a formula to your covered earnings to arrive at your average indexed monthly earnings (AIME). The SSA will then use this figure to calculate the base figure for your payments, or your primary insurance amount (PIA).
When you work with Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill, Co., LPA, we can go through your income history and help you to arrive at a rough estimate of what your monthly SSDI payments will be if your claim is approved. We know how important those benefits can be in your life. We will be committed to pursuing the full amount for you in as timely of a manner as possible.
Your Living Situation
If you qualify for SSI benefits, your living situation can play a role in how much you receive each month in payments. The “federal benefit rate” (FBR) is the base monthly SSI payment rate. It will change annually if there is a cost-of-living adjustment. Your rate will depend on whether you receive benefits as an individual or as a couple.
Additionally, in Ohio, you can be eligible for a SSI supplement. Again, your living situation will determine the amount you receive. For instance, you would receive slightly more if you were living in an adult group home or residential care facility than if you were living in an adult family home or foster home.
The amount which you receive in backpay will depend on whether you receive SSI or SSDI benefits. First, if you are approved for SSI benefits, you will be entitled to receive benefits which go back to the date of your disability application. (However, your lawyer can help you to establish a “protective filing date” which is a later date than your date of application.)
On the other hand, if you qualify for SSDI benefits, then you can receive backpay that goes back to the date of your application (or protective filing date) and as much as 12 months prior to that date. Here’s how it works:
When you apply for SSDI benefits, your established onset date will be determined, or the date when your disability began. You must then count forward five months from that date. That date is your date of entitlement. If your date of entitlement falls within the year before your application date, then you can receive retroactive benefits for that period.
Other Government Benefits
You can receive Social Security disability benefits as well as workers’ compensation and other types of public benefits. However, the total amount which you receive in those benefits cannot exceed 80 percent of your average earnings before you became disabled. If you exceed that figure, then your Social Security payments would be reduced. Keep in mind: Veterans’ disability benefits and SSI benefits are not factored in and cannot be used to lower the amount which you receive in benefits.
Our Northeastern Ohio Disability Benefits Attorneys Are Here for You
At Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill Co., LPA, we are proud to help Northeastern Ohio residents with disabilities to pursue the full amount of federal disability benefits which they deserve. We understand how difficult it can be to apply for these benefits and to pursue appeals when applications are denied. We are here to help.
If you believe that you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, contact us today to discuss your case in a free consultation. As part of our review of your case, we can provide an estimate of the monthly benefits payments which you may be eligible to receive. We work with clients throughout Northeastern Ohio. Call or contact us online now to learn more.
Robert L. Heller has practiced law in Ohio for nearly 40 years, devoting his entire career to helping disabled people in the Mahoning Valley to pursue needed benefits. A native of Warren, Ohio, Robert earned his undergraduate degree from Miami University of Ohio and his law degree from the University of Toledo College of Law. He also studied public administration at American University in Washington, D.C. He is admitted to practice in Ohio state courts, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio and Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals as well as a member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimant Representatives (NOSSCR).