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How Social Security Disability Insurance payments are calculated

On Behalf of | Dec 1, 2017 | Social Security Disability

Oklahomans who have either been approved for Social Security disability benefits or are seeking them should keep certain facts in mind as the process moves forward. One key factor with Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is how the amount the recipient will get is determined. It is based on a formula that assesses various factors.

These factors include the person’s age, his or her income at the time of the injury, illness or condition, and work experience. People who get SSD benefits under SSDI will not receive more than the average they earned during their time working. Some will get significantly less; others will get up to 90 percent of what they earned. There is a calculator that the Social Security Administration will use. Included in the variables that will decide on the amount the person will get is the average indexed monthly income (AIME), computation years, and elapsed years.

Computation years are the years in which the person earned the highest amount; elapsed years either begin after 1950 or after the person turns 21; AIME is based on general wage levels. These will then be part of the SSA’s primary insurance amount (PIA). This will determine the benefit total. There are factors that are not considered in the calculator such as time spent caring for a child rather than earning income. There are also provisions that the SSA uses like the “recency-of-work” test. This is important as it is a determinative factor because the person must have worked recently to meet the requirements.

When a person is disabled and has enough work credits to get SSDI, the amount they will receive is a concern. Those who are seeking SSDI benefits should know how the SSA assesses the various factors and comes to an amount. Speaking to a legal professional who understands the SSA and Social Security disability can help with seeking benefits and getting the maximum amount allowable under federal regulations.

Source:, “How would disability payments compare to what you earn now?,” Leslie Shapiro, Nov. 19, 2017