You may find yourself waiting two years or longer before you receive a decision on your Social Security disability claim. Perhaps you have not worked full time for several years. No matter what the circumstance, the first question most of our SSDI and SSI clients ask is “how much will I receive and when will I get my money?”
Here’s what you need to know.
First, the amount that you can expect to receive each month will depend on the type of claim you have filed, how much you have contributed and how long you have been disabled.
SSDI vs. SSI
In order to be eligible for SSDI, your earnings record needs to show that you have worked for approximately 5 out of the last 10 years or that you have enough earnings credits to qualify for SSDI.. Most of our SSDI clients can expect to receive between $1,500 and $2,000 per month.
SSI, by contrast, is a welfare program that does not require any Social Security tax contributions. SSI may be less desirable, however, because your maximum monthly benefit is limited to $733.
Social Security used to send out statements detailing what you would get from Social Security retirement or Social Security disability to everyone automatically but they have stopped doing so. You can usually get this information if you sign up for a free online account at https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/.
Lump Sum Benefits
When you apply for benefits, it usually makes sense to allege an onset date back to the earliest date that you were unable to continue working full time. In an SSDI application you can claim past due benefits up to one year prior to the date of your application
If your end up getting approved with this early onset date, and your hearing is 2 years from the time you applied, you could be looking at 3 to 3 ½ years of past due benefits payable to you in a lump sum. If your benefit amount is $1,500, that lump sum could be over $60,000 payable to you!
Lump sum payments are also available to SSI claimants, however your lump sum will not be as large. You can only collect SSI as of the date you apply for benefits (so don’t wait) and, as noted above, your benefit amount will be less than $800 per month – sometimes a lot less if your benefit is offset by other household income.
Typically we see lump sum payments to SSI claimants in the $15,000 to $20,000 range although they could be less.
When do You Get Paid?
Generally you can expect to receive your lump sum check (or see it deposited into your bank account) about 30 to 45 days after you claim is approved. Your monthly checks will usually start at the same time or slightly after your lump sum is paid.
How do You Pay a Disability Lawyer?
Lawyers like Ginsberg Law Offices use contingency fee contracts to work on your Social Security disability claim. Under the fee agreement process, your attorney gets paid 25% of your past due (lump sum) payment if he wins your case, with a maximum fee of $6,000. Attorneys can petition SSA to approve a higher fee than $6,000 if a case has unusual complications.