Invest Wisely

Social Security Disability Calculator

by Ryan Kinnar5 min read
social security disability calculator

There are multiple websites with Social Security Disability calculators that will help you calculate what your Social Security Disability payout should be. However, most use the one provided on the Social Security website, Benefits Calculator. The Social Security Disability Calculator takes into account the following criteria while computing your payout.


  • What were your average life-time earnings before your disability began. It does not take into account your current income or even how badly disabled you are. Most of the disabled claimants receive $700 to $1,700 per month. The average payout this year (2017) has been $1,171.


  • If you are also receiving disability paychecks from other sources then the benefit amount from your Social Security Disability claim is reduced. If your disability paycheck is being supplemented by a private long-term insurance policy, it will not affect your Social Security Disability payout. However, if the paychecks come from government sources such as Temporary State Disability benefits or Workers’ Compensation benefits, then your Social Security Disability calculator will only take up to 80% of your AIME while calculating your benefit amount.


  • If you are receiving SSI (Supplemental Security Income) or VA (Veterans Affairs benefits – which is a benefit program administered by the Department of Veteran Affairs specifically for military veterans; eligibility for this program is dependent on how you were discharged from active military duty, with the exception of a dishonorable discharge).


Before we can calculate your Social Security Disability payout, here are a few terms you need to understand:

  1. Covered Earnings: this is the amount of income you had prior to your disability on which you paid Social Security taxes.
  2. AIME (Average Indexed Monthly Earnings): the average of your covered earnings, spread over a period of years
  3. PIA (Primary Insurance Amount): this is the base figure the Social Security Administration will use to set your disability benefit amount.


Since 2014, the following are the buckets the Social Security Administration considers to calculate your PIA:

  1. AIME less that $816: 90% of AIME taken to calculate PIA
  2. AIME $816 – $4,917: 32% of AIME taken to calculate PIA
  3. AIME greater than $4,917: 15% of AIME taken to calculate PIA


If your disability started before you applied for Social Security Disability benefits, then you are also entitled to a social security back-pay. How much of back-pay received will depend on your monthly benefit amount plus the total number of months between the date of the onset of your disability and the date you applied for disability benefits. Additionally, if you had previously applied for disability, then you are eligible to get back-pay started from the original application date.


To see your complete covered earnings history, you can check your statement online at The Social Security Administration office also mails out a hard copy of the statement once every 5 years for those not receiving any benefits and once a year for those over 60 years of age.


Read this article for an understanding of social security disability rules.


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