The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a weighted formula in calculating an individuals Social Security benefits. Your retirement and disability benefits are determined based on the amount paid in Social Security taxes over a period of years (how much you have paid into the Social Security Insurance program). The amount you have paid in these taxes is sometimes called “covered earnings”. These amounts of covered earnings are averaged out during a defined period of time into what is known as an average indexed monthly earnings or AIME. This AIME is used to determine the primary insurance amount, which is the base amount used to set your monthly benefit amount. You could receive anywhere from $300 to $2533 per month, with the maximum disability benefit being $2,533. Receiving government regulated disability benefits could reduce your Social Security Disability payments, but receiving private long term disability insurance, SSI, or VA benefits will not affect your benefits. Our disability lawyers can help determine these payment amounts during your initial consultation either over the phone or in person in our Montgomery, Birmingham, Anniston, or Huntsville locations.
If you are interested in determining what kind of payments you might receive, you can call your local field office, check online to see your history of covered earnings or enter your wage information yourself and use the benefits calculator at www.socialsecurity.gov.
If you qualify for SSI benefits then you will also be eligible for Medicaid and if you qualify for SSDI benefits, then you will be eligible for Medicare coverage. Even though individuals insured through Social Security can obtain Medicare when they reach 65, but if you are awarded disability, then you can qualify for this coverage early. You can receive Medicare coverage two years after your disability onset date (the date the disability is determined to have begun). If awarded disability payments, you can also receive a lump sum of back pay, calculated from this date the disability is determined to have started.