George had submitted his application and supporting documents months ago. He and his attorney had done a great job getting his paperwork in order. He was looking forward to the time when his disability checks would start coming in. At the same time, though, he wondered how his SSDI payment
Before getting too deep into an explanation of how an SSDI payment is calculated, let’s look at some of the terms and abbreviations used by the Social Security Administration.
- Average Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME). The AIME is calculated based on 35 years of earnings.
- Primary Insurance Amount (PIA). This is the base amount the Social Security Administration uses to come up with an individual’s benefit payment.
- Bend Points. This is part of the complex formula used to in the SSDI calculation. Bend points are fixed percentages of different amounts of income that are adjusted annually.
- Covered Earnings. This is the income on which you paid Social Security taxes.
It’s fairly easy to understand these terms. The actual formula used to calculate Social Security Disability Insurance benefits is more complex.
How It Is Counted
The Social Security Administration, in large part, bases disability benefits on covered earnings. George had worked from age 16 to age 60 before becoming disabled. The SSA will take his earnings from the 35 years where his salary was highest. This is his AIME.
The AIME is used to come up with the PIA, which the Social Security Administration then uses to decide the amount of benefits you will receive.
Some people receive other disability benefits. For example, California residents may receive California Disability Insurance benefits. Some benefits may reduce the amount of SSDI payments you receive. Your total benefits cannot add up to more than 80% of your average pay before you became disabled.
With the help of his attorney and the Social Security Administration’s Online Calculator, George was able to calculate how much his monthly benefits might be. This, of course, assumed his Social Security Disability Insurance claim would be approved.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have more than 50 years’ legal experience, much of it involving Social Security Disability Insurance claims. They can help you with your application and any appeals that might be needed.
Call us at 714-385-8100 for a free consultation. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.