I am having serious health problems and have been told to consider filing for disability. How much does Social Security disability pay?
If you have been paying Social Security taxes and have been working for several years, you are probably eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance. The amount of your Social Security disability benefit will be based on an average of your lifetime earnings. If you have had low paying jobs, your benefit amount will be different than if you had high paying jobs. For more information, see our article on how Social Security disability payments are calculated.
If you haven't worked long enough in a job paying Social Security taxes to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance, you may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) if you have low income. SSI is for elderly or disabled people who don't have access to Social Security benefits, but its low-income and low-asset eligibility requirements are strict. If you qualify for SSI, your monthly payment will be based on the federal monthly benefit rate ($710 in 2013), minus certain countable income you make, plus any supplement paid by your state. For more information, see our article How My SSI Payment Is Calculated.
updated by: Beth Laurence, J.D.