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How much disability will I get?

This is a question that is frequently-asked to Social Security disability lawyers in Michigan and elsewhere. The answer depends on several factors, including:

  • Whether you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI); and
  • How long you worked and paid into the system before you became injured

The first factor that needs to be addressed is whether you will qualify for benefits, and if so, which type.

SSDI benefits are available to disabled workers who have a documented qualifying impairment that prevents them from working for a year or more.

On the other hand, SSI is available to adults and children who do not have a sufficient work history but meet the Social Security Administration's definition of a qualifying medical impairment. Individuals over the age of 65 may also qualify.

When it comes to SSDI, the amount of benefits you will receive depends on how long you worked before becoming disabled and how much you earned during that time. The more you earned and paid into the system, the larger your benefit will be.

If you qualify for SSI, the amount of benefits you will be entitled to is based on a federal level that is set each year. For example, the federal level for SSI benefits in 2014 is $721 per month for individuals and $1,082 for couples.

Additionally, many states, including Michigan, add a "state supplement" that slightly increase the monthly benefit.

Another question SSD applicants often have is when their benefits will begin. As you have probably heard, it can take a significant amount of time to be approved for SSD benefits, especially if your case requires an appeal, like many do.

The good news is that many individuals who eventually qualify for benefits receive "back-due" benefits that cover the period between when they became disabled and when their claims were finally approved. This often comes in a large lump-sum payment.

For more information, please visit the Value of Your Benefits page on our website.

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