Disability benefits from the government can help provide for the needs of people in Chicago when they become disabled. One of the biggest questions that people have is how much their disability payments will be. In 2014, the average disability monthly payment is estimated at $1,148 but can max out at $2,642. Some people may only receive $300 a month.

Disability is not based on a person’s illness or injury, but on their income history. Therefore, it is important to understand the process used to calculate a person’s Social Security Disability payment.16572959_s

Average lifetime earnings

The amount that a person receives in SSD benefits is determined by their average lifetime earnings. The Social Security Administration evaluator will take the amount of income for each year that the person worked and where Social Security was paid. That income is then averaged out in an estimate till the person’s age of retirement. This is referred to as covered income.

For example: A person is born in 1981 and starts working at age 16. That year, the person earns $7,000. During their 18th and 19th year, the person earns $8,500 and $13,000. Then the person gets a full-time job while in college where the person starts out at $21,000 and then over the next few years receives increases of pay up to $27,000. After graduating from college the person enters a career that pays $42,000 a year. Three years later, the person receives a promotion with an income of $45,000 and is currently at that income rate. If the person becomes disabled through an illness or injury, that person would roughly receive about $1700 a month in disability.

Outside disability plans and payments

People who are injured or become ill in connection with their job would be able to file for and receive workers’ compensation. However, people should understand that any workers’ compensation they receive will affect their payments from Social Security Disability.  If a person suffers permanent disability and workers’ compensation is paying over 80 percent of their average income amount to them, that person will receive less in Social Security disability benefits according to the Social Security Act.

However, Social Security Disability is not impacted by private disability insurance plans. This means that if a person has a million dollar disability insurance, the person will still be entitled to receive their full SSD payment once they are approved for disability benefits. Veterans Affairs benefits as well as Social Security Income payments are also exempt from the determination of disability benefits and payments.  People who have further concerns over their Social Security Disability payments should speak to an experienced attorney.

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