Does the severity of my disability impact the value of my Social Security disability benefits?

No. The severity of your disability may impact whether or not you are eligible for Social Security disability, but once you are found eligible for benefits, the severity of your disability will have no impact on the amount of money you receive each month.

Why Not?

The severity of your disability is not a factor because it has already been accounted for in determining your eligibility for Social Security disability benefits. Only people who are totally disabled are eligible for benefits. If you are partially disabled, you will not qualify for benefits.

However, you will not receive the same amount in Social Security disability benefits as everyone else. Instead, the Social Security Administration will make a unique determination about your benefits based on a specific formula. That formula takes into account your average lifetime earnings before you became disabled and other government provided disability benefits.

The only difference in how Social Security disability benefits are calculated is for people who are blind. If you qualify for Social Security disability because you are blind then you may be entitled to additional monthly compensation.

In 2017, the average monthly Social Security disability payment for someone who was disabled but not blind was $1,170 and the average monthly Social Security disability payment for someone who was disabled by blindness was $1,950.

How to Make Sure You Get the Fair Benefits You Deserve

Just because your Social Security disability benefits are determined according to a formula does not mean that you shouldn’t pay attention to their determination. Instead, when you present evidence about your eligibility for benefits you should also make sure that you present evidence about your work history so that a proper determination can be made.

For more information about how to protect your rights, about how to be found eligible for Social Security disability, and about how to get the benefits you deserve, please download a free copy of our book, Social Security Disability: What You Need to Know, and contact us directly via this website or by phone to get your questions answered.

Carl M. Weisbrod
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Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law