What Is the Average Social Security Disability Monthly Payment

Social Security disability insurance was created so that people who have worked but become ill or injured and can’t work any longer have money coming in to help pay for their living and medical expenses. The amount of money that you receive as a monthly benefit from disability insurance will depend on several different factors.

It’s very important that you understand how your monthly benefit amount is calculated so that you will know how much money you can expect to receive each month. Once you know what your monthly benefit payment should be you can budget accordingly to make sure that you have enough money to pay all your bills.

In 2024, the average disability monthly payment is $1,537. But your payment could be as high as $3,822 per month.

How SSDI Payments Are Calculated

The United States Social Security Administration (SSA) has a set of requirements that you must meet in order to qualify for disability benefits. First, you must have earned a certain amount of work credits during the time you were working. Second, you must be diagnosed with a medical condition that is recognized by the SSA and listed in the Blue Book. And third, you must meet the Blue Book requirements for the condition that you have. Disability benefits are only approved for people who won’t be able to work for at least a year.

Once your application is approved the SSA will calculate your benefit amount by determining your “AIME” (average indexed monthly earnings). The AIME amount is based on what you’ve earned while you were working and how much tax you paid into the Social Security system while you were working. The AIME amount helps the SSA figure out your “PIA” (primary insurance amount). The amount of your disability benefit is dependent on—and directly influenced by—your PIA.

How to calculate your monthly SSDI payments

How To Calculate Your AIME

Before the SSA can calculate your AIME, they have to index your wages. That means they take the wage that you earned while you were working and adjust it to reflect inflation or how much the cost of living has gone up. The SSA will index up to 35 years of wages adjusted for inflation. The SSA will always adjust wage amounts for inflation to make sure that the benefit amount is enough to cover living expenses today, not what living expenses were years ago.

So, the SSA takes your 35 highest earning years and indexes that amount to get your AIME. Then, they calculate your PIA.

Calculating Your PIA

Calculating your PIA is a little more complicated than calculating your AIME, but it’s not that difficult. Your AIME is broken into three portions. The first portion addresses the first $1,174 of your earnings. The second addresses your earnings within the range of $1,175 to $7,078. The third covers earnings of more than $6,721.

The PIA formula applies to your earnings—meaning that your monthly SSDI benefit for 2024 is worth:

  • 90% of the first portion (the first $1,174 of your AIME) PLUS
  • 32% of the second portion (any AIME between $1,175 and $7,078) PLUS
  • 15% of the third portion (any AIME exceeding $7,078)

The SSA then rounds the value down to the $0.10 multiple that is the next-lowest. This means that, if your PIA calculation ends up coming out to be $1,358.32, the SSA would then round your SSDI benefit check down to be $1,358.30.

Example Calculation for SSDI

The PIA formula may be confusing. Looking at a concrete example might make it easier to understand how your Social Security disability payment is calculated. If the SSA calculates your AIME to be $5,000, then that would be broken down into three portions:

  • 90% of the first $1,174, or $1,056.60 PLUS
  • 32% of $3826 (your $5,000 AIME – the $1,115 in the first slice), or $1,224.32
  • The 15% portion is not applicable because your AIME did not exceed $7,078

That means the disability payment you’d receive would be $2,280.92 ($1,056.60 from the first portion + $1,224.32 from the second portion).

Average SSDI Payments By State

The Social Security Administration is a Federal agency, so the formula that is used by the SSA applies to workers in every state. But because the average salary is different in every state the average Social Security disability payment will be different in your state than in other states.

Social Security Payment Schedule: Exactly When to Expect Your Checks in January 2024

The most recent SSA Annual Statistical Report says that the average monthly disability payment is $1,489.00. State average disability payment amounts are:

State Average Monthly SSDI Payment
Alabama $1,454.98


Arizona $1,542.92
Arkansas $1,415.43
California $1,524.99
Colorado $1,497.71
Connecticut $1,549.41
Delaware $1,599.97
District of Columbia $1,321.04
Florida $1,521.74
Georgia $1,485.38
Hawaii $1,532.11
Idaho $1,456.79
Illinois $1,495.07
Indiana $1,480.12
Iowa $1,412.23
Kansas $1,439.17
Kentucky $1,446.53
Louisiana $1,421.25
Maine $1,395.33
Maryland $1,542.21
Massachusetts $1,493.30
Michigan $1,508.94
Minnesota $1,475.73
Mississippi $1,416.49
Missouri $1,441.07
Montana $1,407.08
Nebraska $1,391.82
Nevada $1,562.44
New Hampshire $1,528.42
New Jersey $1,648.06
New Mexico $1,398.19
New York $1,540.57
North Carolina $1,483.98
North Dakota $1,388.96
Ohio $1,422.89
Oklahoma $1,423.04
Oregon $1,459.64
Pennsylvania $1,493.44
Rhode Island $1,464.35
South Carolina $1,512.46
South Dakota $1,391.16
Tennessee $1,446.63
Texas $1,463.70
Utah $1,473.63
Vermont $1,398.34
Virginia $1,497.40
Washington $1,494.32
West Virginia $1,465.15
Wisconsin $1,460.01
Wyoming $1,485.89

How You Can Increase Your Monthly SSDI Payments

If you’re disabled and can’t work it’s not really possible to increase your disability monthly payment, because the amount of the payment is based on your previous earnings. You’d have to work for at least another year with a high level of income in order to raise your disability monthly payment.

But you can make sure that you have applied for every type of Social Security benefit that you’re eligible for if you are worried that your disability benefit each month won’t be enough to pay for your living expenses.

Will My SSDI Payments Ever Change?

Typically, the Social Security Administration increases the amount of the monthly benefit that is paid based on the increase in the cost of living. Cost -Of-Living-Adjustments are usually announced in the fall of the year and take effect when the new year starts. In 2024 the COLA is 3.2% which means that the monthly disability payment received increased across the board by 3.2%.

Variability in SSDI Payments

Because everyone who receives disability benefits has a unique set of circumstances the average disability benefit payment may be more or less than you receive. If you receive dependent or survivor benefits that can impact the amount of the payment that you receive. If you have other income like investment income or part-time work income that can also impact how much money you receive. The best way to see what your monthly Social Security disability benefit payment will be is to log into your “my Social Security” account on the SSA’s website and check your monthly benefit amount.


Figuring out what your monthly Social Security disability payment will be may seem complicated, but once you understand the formula that the Social Security Administration uses to figure out the amount of each monthly disability it makes sense. If you have questions about your Social Security disability payment or if you need help applying for Social Security disability benefits the best thing you can do is speak to an attorney that specializes in Social Security disability cases. Fill out a Free Case Evaluation form on this page right now to get connected and speak with an independent, participating disability lawyer who can answer your questions and help you today—all at zero cost to you.

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