When I called and asked, Social Security kept telling me different numbers.
One person said $900, one said $1100, another said $980 and another said $1500.
When you are talking about a lifelong source of income. . . the difference between $900 per month and $1500 per month is staggering.
Finally I went online myself. The simple online calculator said $1470 per month.
Then I downloaded the detailed calculator, read the instructions, and entered all my information. The detailed calculator said $1522.
Well, today I got my award letter. Lo and behold, it is $1522!!!
The detailed calculator has to be downloaded and it takes twenty minutes to figure out how to use it.
Sooooo worth it.
The online calculator will only tell you about SSDI. It will not tell you about SSI.
Also for SSDI, after you have figured out your total, be sure to add in extra for your kids. Your kids (and in some cases your spouse) will be eligible for dependent benefits if you sign them up. The formula for dependent benefits is impossibly complicated. In most cases it works out to be 50% of your check. It is the same amount regardless of number of children. For example: Your check is $1,000, dependent benefits are $500, total check is $1,500.