How Much and How Often are Disability Payments Made?

Once you have received an award letter from Social Security informing you that you are eligible for disability benefits, your next question is usually how much will I receive in benefits and how often are the disability payments made. 

How much are my benefits?

This depends on whether you are approved for Social Security disability or SSI disability. It does not depend how disabled you are (unlike workers' compensation and veterans disability).

If you've been approved for Social Security, the amount of your benefits depends on how much you have paid in Social Security taxes. Social Security averages your lifetime earnings to determine your benefit amount. The more money you made while working, the higher the benefit payment. Social Security used to send everyone an earnings statement every year that estimated how much you would receive at retirement age and how much you would receive if you became disabled (you can now get this information online at For more information on how your earnings translate into a disability payment, see our article on how much SSDI pays.

The SSI payment starts out the same for everyone, but can be lowered if you have some income, or increased if you live in a state that pays a state supplement. In 2013, the federal base payment is $710 per month. For more information on the calculations, see our article on how much SSI pays

How often are benefits paid?

Disability benefits are paid by Social Security once a month. When you receive your check depends on what type of benefit you receive.

SSI payments are made on the first of each month.

Social Security disability payments are staggered throughout the month, depending on when your birthday is. If your birthday is in the first third of the month, you'll be paid on the 2nd Wednesday. If your birthday is in the 2nd third of the month, you'll be paid on the 3rd Wednesday. And so on.  

If you get a combined SSI and SSDI payment, you'll receive your check on the third of every month.

For more information, see's article on SSDI and SSI payment dates.

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