How Does Social Security Determine My Award Amount?

By Disability Group

The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers payments for two different types of disability programs: Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If you have been awarded monthly disability benefits, you are probably wondering about the process that SSA uses to determine your exact award amount. Here is what happens:

Disability Insurance Benefits

DIB payments are based on your past work history and the amount you have paid into the system. When you were working, you were paying taxes and this is what SSA uses to determine how much you will receive monthly if you are awarded disability benefits. The more you earned, the higher your payments will be. Monthly payments range anywhere from $500 – $2,000. You must have earned enough work credits when working to be eligible for DIB.

Supplemental Security Income

SSI, on the other hand, is a welfare-based program and has nothing to do with your past work. SSI payments are calculated based on your income, resources, and living situation. Only those with a very limited income and resources are eligible for SSI. The monthly amount SSI claimants usually receive is between $600 – $900. This amount is also dependant on the state you live in.


It is important to remember that along with these technical requirements for DIB and SSI, you must also be found medically disabled by SSA.

If you are interested in finding out more about the amount you may be awarded by SSA, you can fill out their Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool.

Disability Group, Inc. was founded on the principles of dignity and respect. We are a national law firm focused exclusively on helping people receive the Social Security Disability benefits they deserve. For more information about Social Security, or to see if you qualify for benefits, visit us at