Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a program that provides monthly benefits to workers who have become disabled and can no longer work.
But how much can you expect to receive if you qualify for SSDI? And what is the minimum amount that the Social Security Administration (SSA) will pay you?
In this article, I will answer these questions and more. I will also explain how the SSA calculates your SSDI benefit amount, and what factors can affect it.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about the lowest SSDI benefit in 2023.
What Is the Minimum SSDI Benefit?
The minimum SSDI benefit in 2023 is not a fixed amount. It depends on how much you earned and how long you worked under Social Security.
However, there is a special minimum benefit that applies to some low-earning workers who have at least 11 years of work credits. Work credits are based on your yearly wages or self-employment income. You can earn up to four credits per year.
The special minimum benefit in 2023 ranges from $49.40 per month for workers with 11 years of work credits, to $1,033.50 per month for workers with 30 years of work credits.
However, most workers who qualify for it also qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is another program that provides benefits to low-income people who are disabled, elderly, or blind, so the special minimum benefit is rarely paid.
SSI benefits are based on your income and resources, not on your work history. The maximum SSI benefit in 2023 is $914 per month for individuals and $1,371 per month for couples.
If you qualify for both SSDI and SSI, the SSA will pay you the higher of the two amounts. Therefore, most workers who are eligible for the special minimum benefit will receive more from SSI than from SSDI.
What is the highest SSDI payment?
The maximum SSDI benefit in 2023 is $3,627 per month. This is the amount that you would receive if you had the highest possible AIME and started receiving SSDI benefits at your FRA.
However, very few people qualify for the maximum SSDI benefit. According to the SSA, the average SSDI benefit in 2023 is $1,364 per month.
How the SSA Determines Your SSDI Benefit Amount
The SSA uses a complex formula to determine your SSDI benefit amount. The formula is based on your average lifetime earnings, which are adjusted for inflation and wage growth. The SSA calls this your average indexed monthly earnings (AIME).
The SSA then applies a percentage to your AIME, depending on how much you earned. The percentage is lower for higher earners, and higher for lower earners. The SSA calls this your primary insurance amount (PIA).
Your PIA is the basic amount that you would receive at your full retirement age (FRA), which is between 66 and 67, depending on when you were born.
However, if you start receiving SSDI benefits before your FRA, your PIA will be reduced by a certain percentage for each month of early retirement.
For example, if you have a Full Retirement Age (FRA) of 67 and you begin receiving SSDI benefits at 62, Social Security will reduce your Primary Insurance Amount (PIA) by 30%. If you begin receiving SSDI benefits at 65, Social Security will reduce your PIA by 13.3%.
What Factors Can Affect Your SSDI Benefit Amount?
Besides your earnings and work credits, there are other factors that can affect your SSDI benefit amount. Some of these factors are:
- Family benefits: If you have a spouse or children who depend on you for support, they may also be eligible for SSDI benefits based on your record. The maximum family benefit for SSDI is about 150% to 180% of your PIA. However, if you also receive SSI benefits, the amount of family benefits you receive from SSDI will reduce them.
- Workers’ compensation: If you receive workers’ compensation or other public disability benefits because of a work-related injury or illness, the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program may reduce your SSDI benefits by the amount of these benefits. The SSA will make sure that the total amount of disability benefits that you receive does not exceed 80% of your average earnings before you became disabled.
- Taxes: Depending on your income level and filing status, some of your SSDI benefits may be subject to federal income tax. You may also have to pay state income tax on your SSDI benefits, depending on where you live.
- Medicare: If you receive SSDI benefits for more than 24 months, you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance). You may also choose to enroll in Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage) or a Medicare Advantage plan. However, you will have to pay premiums, deductibles, and co-payments for these services, which may reduce your net SSDI benefit amount.
The lowest SSDI benefit in 2023 depends on your earnings, work credits, and other factors. However, there is a special minimum benefit that ranges from $49.40 to $1,033.50 per month for some low-earning workers with at least 11 years of work credits.
However, most workers who qualify for the special minimum benefit will also be eligible for SSI benefits, which are usually higher than the special minimum benefit. Therefore, the SSA will pay them the higher of the two amounts.
If you have a disability and cannot work, you should apply for SSDI benefits as soon as possible. The SSA will review your application and determine your eligibility and benefit amount based on your medical and work history.
We hope this article has helped you understand how much is the lowest SSDI benefit in 2023. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. We would love to hear from you!