If you are approved for SSD benefits, the amount of money you receive will be based on the average of your lifetime earnings before your disability started. These are referred to as covered earnings, which you paid Social Security taxes on.
How Does the SSA Calculate Benefits?
The SSA uses an equation that takes into account your Average Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME) and your Primary Insurance Amount (PIA).
Simply put, your AIME is your averaged covered earnings.
The SSA will determine this amount based on the earnings you received from the year you turned 21 to the year that you became disabled. If you have more than 35 years of covered earnings, the SSA will average the highest 35 years of covered earnings.
This amount is indexed in order to factor in wage increases. Then, this amount is divided by the number of months in those years to determine your average monthly amount.
From there, the SSA uses three fixed percentages of different aspects of your AIME and adds them to find the PIA. The PIA is what the SSA will use to determine your actual benefits amount.
What is the Average Monthly Check?
For 2019, the average monthly amount is $1,234, while the maximum is $2,861.
What Is COLA And How Does It Affect My Benefits?
Each year, the SSA reviews the Consumer Price Index, which essentially is a change in the price of goods and services. If this number increased by a certain amount, you will automatically receive a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA).
If there is one, The SSA announces the COLA each year in October. As a Social Security Disability benefits recipient, you will receive this increase in benefits in January of the new year.
For 2019, the COLA was 2.8%.
Turn to the Experienced Social Security Disability Attorneys
Applying for benefits can be overwhelming, and having a skilled attorney on your side can help improve your chances of being approved.
Have questions? Call Disability Attorneys of Michigan for a free confidential consultation at 800-701- 5524. We’ll let you know if we can help you get a monthly check and help you determine if any money or assets you receive could impact your eligibility for disability benefits.
Let Michigan’s experienced Social Security Disability law firm help you get the benefits you deserve.