How Do You Calculate Social Security Disability Benefits?


Quick Answer

Workers can use the benefit calculator provided on the Social Security Administration website to calculate Social Security disability benefits. A specific formula is used to calculate Social Security disability benefits, called the average indexed monthly earnings. The formula takes the years a person has worked and the income generated during those years into consideration when determining the amount of benefits to be awarded. Each individual's award is different, so using the calculator only provides an estimate.

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Full Answer

To calculate how much in Social Security disability benefits may be granted, the Social Security Administration calculates how many years a person has worked and how much he contributed to Social Security. The total wages made essentially determine how much a person receives in disability payments.

There are maximum and minimum fixed amounts despite what a person may have earned. During the years a person was actively employed and the earnings that were determined, the years a person has the highest income are taken into consideration. The Social Security Administration then divides the total amount by the total months worked in those years, rounding down to the lowest dollar amount.

When calculating disability benefits, the Social Security Administration goes back 35 years to obtain information, but a worker only needs 20 work credits from the last 10 years in order to be eligible for Social Security disability benefits.

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