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What is the maximum and minimum payment for Social Security disability beneficiaries?

For the disabled, the Social Security Administration runs two programs that provide financial support with differing levels of payments for recipients.

For the disabled, the Social Security Administration runs two programs that provide financial support with differing levels of payments for recipients.

Established in 1935, the Social Security Administration, established to create a more coherent system out of the patchwork that existed prior to prevent financial hardship for those who could no longer work, didn’t originally cover disabilities. It wasn’t until just over 20 years later that the first workers, those 50 until retirement age, were covered by the agency for situations that rendered them unable to continue working.

It would take almost another 20 years to expand coverage to younger recipients, families and for disabilities to those who were left out by the parameters of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). As well, was born Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program which “targets eligible persons who have limited income and resources and who are disabled, blind, or aged 65 or older.”

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The two programs are managed by the Social Security Administration (SSA) but while SSDI is a solely a federal program, SSI while a joint federal-state program is dependent on each state. This means that SSDI benefits are uniform across the United States, depending on one’s work history for the level of benefits for each recipient, or their family can count on.

On the other hand, SSI is based on the need of the individual and although the federal government sets the basic national rate, the amount that recipients can receive can vary by state. Neither program has a minimum payment amount, but payment amount can differ depending on the factors established by each program.

How much are monthly SSDI payments?

The average SSDI benefit for a disabled worker was about $1,358.30 a month according to the Social Security Administration at the end of 2021. The majority of beneficiaries receive modest payments, 85 percent got less than $2,000 a month as of December 2021. Depending on work history and who is the recipient of the payments, primary, dependent or widow, can change the level of the monthly payments.

The maximum benefit one could receive in 2022 is $3,345 per month. The SSA has an online benefits calculator that you can use to obtain an estimate of your monthly benefits.

How much are monthly SSI payments?

Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the other benefit program serving people with disabilities run by the SSA, eligibility is based on financial need, not one’s work history. The benefit amounts are not based on the recipient’s historical earnings but set by the federal government. In 2022 the federal SSI benefit rate is $841 for an individual and $1,261 for a couple.

SSI is still available in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Northern Mariana Islands. Amounts can vary by state with all but four states and the Northern Mariana Islands offering additional funds to residents receiving SSI.

Other income that may reduce SSDI payments

Bear in mind that if you receive other government benefits, such as state disability benefits or workers' compensation, your monthly SSDI benefit could be reduced. Private disability benefits such as payouts from personal insurance do not reduce your SSDI benefits.

When you reach full retirement age, currently 66 and 4 months for people born in 1956 and is gradually rising to 67, your disability benefit converts to a retirement benefit, usually at the same amount.

Social Security benefits are indexed, which means that they are modified each year to account for inflation using the Social Security's cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).


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