Your medical condition progressively grew worse, leading to crippling disability. Clearly, you are no longer able to work for at least a year or potentially longer. Since you are completely unable to work, you qualify for Social Security disability (SSD) benefits. But you wonder just how much you will receive in this monthly government benefit.
Similar to retired workers, Social Security-taxed earnings determine the amount of your SSD benefits. The general rule of thumb is that the monthly amount you receive is a bit less than what you would have received if you worked until your full retirement age. Why? Because, typically, workers achieve higher earnings in their later career years, so a worker who becomes disabled before those peak earning years will receive lower monthly benefits.
It depends on how long you worked and paid into the system
In 2017, the average monthly payment for workers receiving SSD benefits was nearly $1,234, according to the Annual Statistical Report on the Social Security Disability Program, 2018. Here is a breakdown by age and amount of money in monthly payments that disabled workers received through Social Security:
- Under 25: $647
- Ages 25 to 29: $757
- Ages 30 to 34: $875
- Ages 35 to 39: $973
- Ages 40 to 44: $1,052
- Ages 45 to 49: $1,122
- Ages 50 to 54: $1,183
- Ages 55 to 59: $1,264
- Ages 60 to 64: $1,357
- Ages 65 and older: $1,394
In looking at the numbers, you can clearly see that the longer a person works and pays into the Social Security system, the more they receive in benefits. SSD benefits are meant to help you and your family when experiencing difficult medical and financial challenges.