Maryville Social Security Disability Lawyers Explain How Benefits Are Calculated

Helping clients throughout East Tennessee obtain the benefits they need

Those who qualify to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), will receive monthly benefit payments. The amount of those benefits depends not on how severe their disability, or on their current monthly income, but it is based on the individual’s work credits from their average lifetime earnings. SSDI benefits come out of payroll deductions paid into FICA, which funds Social Security retirement benefits, spousal and survivor benefits and Medicare.

At Shepherd and Associates, P.C., our Maryville Social Security Disability attorneys represent clients who need SSDI benefits when they are unable to work because of a physical or mental impairment. Schedule a consultation today to learn more about how we can help improve your chances of getting approved for disability benefits.

How is my monthly Social Security Disability Insurance benefit amount calculated?

The amount of your monthly SSDI benefits will be unique to you. This is because the Social Security Administration (SA) uses a complicated algorithm to calculate each applicant’s benefit with the maximum payment at $2,687 and the average at $1,171 in 2017.

The amount of your monthly benefit will be based on how much you have paid in to Social Security through all the years you have been working, which is referred to as your “covered earnings.” The amount of your average covered earnings over time is called your average indexed monthly earnings (AIME). The SSA takes your AIME and applies a formula to determine your primary insurance amount (PIA).

If you want to get an estimate of what your SSDI monthly benefit amount might be, you can refer to the SSA website, where you will find your annual Social Security statement.

Can I work part time while receiving Social Security Disability benefits?

While you are applying for Disability benefits you can work part time, but your earnings must not exceed the limit that the SSA sets each year for what they call, “substantial gainful activity (SGA).” If your earnings exceed SGA, you will not be eligible to receive benefits. In 2017, the SGA if $1,170 per month, or $1,950 if you are blind.

The Social Security Administration will also be scrutinizing how many hours you are able to work to generate your part-time income. Working as much as 32 hours per week might signal to the SSA that you are not truly disabled.

Once you have started receiving Disability benefits, the SSA has a program called, “Ticket to Work,” which helps people who are receiving disability benefits to work part time and still receive benefits. Ticket to Work offers vocational rehabilitation, training, job referrals and other employment support. There is a nine-month trial work period during which your work can exceed the SGA limit.

A Maryville Social Security Disability attorney you can trust

Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits is complicated and it takes a lot of time. An experienced SSDI lawyer has helped countless people before you apply for benefits, or prepare for a hearing. Having the trusted support of a skilled professional who knows how to present your case in the most effective way, and fight for your right to receive the benefits you have worked for is vital if you want your application to be successful. At Shepherd and Associates, we are here to help you reach your goals.

Contact an experienced Maryville Social Security Disability attorney today

At Shepherd and Associates, P.C., we are here to help you file an application for disability benefits, or represent you in an appeal. You are welcome to call us at 865-225-9655 or complete the contact form to a case review with and experienced Maryville Social Security Disability lawyer. We serve clients in Madisonville, Oak Ridge, Lenoir City and throughout East Tennessee.