How High Will My Disability Check Be?

Artist: Robin Mead

Amount of your disability check is going to depend on what type of disability you are applying for. Below you will find the information for:

  • SSDI (Social Security Disability)
  • SSI (Supplemental Security Income)
  • SSI plus SSDI
  • Disabled Adult Child
  • Long Term Disability (through an employer)
  • Other forms of disability
  • Other disability services


This is the most common form of disability. It is run through the Social Security Administration and designed for people who worked in the US and paid taxes. You must work a certain amount during a certain time period.

SSDI is a very complex formula. The average check is $1,200. You can get an estimate of your benefits by calling Social Security, checking a paper statement, creating an online account, or using an online calculator. 

There are a few ways to find out if you are eligible and check your check amount: How Much Will My SSDI Be? In addition, here’s a list of five things that can raise your SSDI check, plus seven things that can lower it: Good News and Bad News About Your SSDI Check. If it takes a long time to get approved, you may also get a big check all at once. How much will backpay be?. You will also get Medicare.


This is the other very common for of disability. It is also run by Social Security, but it is a different program. SSI is for people who are poor. It does not matter if you worked or paid taxes.

SSI is $750 in most states. Slightly higher in some states. $910 in California. Your check may go down if: You are married, you have income, or you get free housing.

Maximum SSI possible varies by state: How Much is Maximum SSI? The exact amount of your check will depend on many factors, including your income, marital status, who you live with, and how much rent you pay. Find out more here: SSI Rules and Regs. You will also get Medicaid. If it takes a long time to get approved, you may also get a big check all at once. How much will backpay be?


If you get both SSI and SSDI, your total check will be Maximum SSI. Plus you may be eligible for an additional $20. In this situation, you can also get both Medicaid and Medicare.


STD and LTD is disability through your employer or private insurance. You can apply for this if your employer offers this as a job benefit. The amount will generally be a percent of your last pay check. Often 60%. Request and read a copy of your disability insurance plan to find out more. If you also get SSDI, your check will most likely be reduced.

If you think you may apply for LTD at some point, there are a few important things you need to know: How to Protect Yourself if Your Employer Offers LTD


New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Hawaii and California offer temporary state disability. Check your state to find out more. It is common for people to receive this kind of temporary disability while waiting for their Social Security disability decision. It may be a percentage of your former pay.


Some states offer small amounts of cash assistance that you can collect while applying for Social Security disability. It is only for people who are very low income. It may be a few hundred dollars per month.  How to Get Cash Assistance From the State


Some retirement plans will allow you to retire early if you are disabled. This most often happens with government retirement plans, though in some cases a retirement plan from a private insurer may include this benefit. Some government jobs (especially teachers) have their own retirement systems. Please check with your human resources department for details on how your retirement system is set up and how much you would be eligible for.


Some life insurance plans also offer a payout for permanent disability. Please check your plan for details.


Veterans disability is (obviously) available to veterans. The amount of your check depends on how disabled they determine you are. When approved, you are given a rating to determine the level of your disability (the highest is 100%). Here is a table with the benefit amounts.


This is a different Social Security program. Most people can collect Social Security widow’s benefits at the age of 60. If you are disabled you can start collecting at age 50 instead. The amount will based on the earnings record of your spouse. It is often 75% of what they would have received. Make sure to contact Social Security and request this benefit. In most cases, it won’t happen unless you request it.


If you were married for at least ten years, and then got divorced, when your ex-spouse passes away, you may still be eligible for this benefit.


This is yet another Social Security program. If you first became disabled before the age of 22, then at some point you may become eligible for disabled adult child benefits. This could happen when you first apply, or many years later.

Disabled Adult Child benefits is typically 50% of the amount of Social Security a parent gets. The parent’s check is not impacted. When a parent passes away, it becomes 75%. 

In some situations, the amount may be lower. This can happen if more than one person is drawing off the same earning record. This is called Maximum Family Benefit.

The amount of your check will depend on which parent’s income records is used, if they are passed away or retired, if anyone else is drawing off the earning records, and the amount of the parent’s earning record. How to Get Adult Disabled Child Benefits


This is not actually a form of disability, but it is a service many people with disabilities use. For some people on SSI, the value of housing assistance may be worth a higher value then their disability check. For a person on SSI, rent would typically be $200 per month including utilities or $50 per month plus utilities. Section 8 Guide for the Disabled and Plucky


Again, not a form of disability, but a service that may be worth more than a disability check to some people. State home aide programs are free and typically provide assistance in your home 20-30 hours per week. You are allowed to choose the aide of your choice. How To Apply for a State Home Aide


SSI and SSDI are two separate programs. If you don’t know the difference, and wish you did, look here: How to Understand the Difference Between SSI and SSDI Without Making Your Head Explode

If you don’t know which program you are eligible for, and wish you did, look here: What Will I Qualify for? SSI? SSDI? Both? Neither?

Learn more about How to Survive Financially While Applying for Disability

Updated 2019. Please comment below with stories, questions, input or ideas. Please let us know if any links on this page stop working.  If you found this page helpful, please use one of these magic buttons to share this post on Facebook or Twitter:

1 thought on “How High Will My Disability Check Be?”

  1. I just finished my SSI interview which I wasn’t going to do since I got my SSD approved. But I read your article and I am so glad I kept the appointment. They are giving me three extra months of backpay through SSI.


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