Cash Benefits

The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers two cash benefit programs for people with a disability. Both programs pay on the first of the month. If that day is a weekend or holiday, it will be paid the business day before The SSA will send you a statement each year with the total amount of money you’ve received from them.

Benefit Programs

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is funded by Social Security taxes. You monthly payments will depend on the income and the amount of money you paid into Social Security taxes before you stopped working. The average monthly payments are between $1,000 and $1,200, but it could be lower or higher depending on how much you paid in taxes.

In certain cases, dependents such as minor or children, older or ex-spouses, and dependent parents of SSDI recipients can also collect benefits.

Supplementary Security Insurance (SSI) is awarded based solely on your income. If you make below $733 per month as an individual or $1,100 as couple you can receive the difference in monthly SSI payments. The SSA only counts about half of your income when figuring out how much you make per month.

Back Payments

For both SSDI, you may receive back payments. The approval process can take up to two years, so back payments happen when you are approved after you should’ve started getting monthly payments. You will start getting payments five months after your reported start of disability date.

SSI does not have back payments. If your application is approved, you will start receiving benefits the month after the approval, no matter how long the application process took.

Methods of Payment

Those approved for disability before 2011 had the option of receiving a paper check in the mail, direct deposit, or Direct Express. Now, the SSA no longer offers mailed checks to new applicants, so they must receive their monthly payments by direct deposit or Direct Express.

Direct Express is a free, prepaid debit card loaded each month by the SSA. You don’t need a bank account for a Direct Express card, so it’s a good option for those who don’t have one. It’s accepted as a MasterCard and can also be used to get cash.

To change the way you receive your benefits, go onto the SSA’s website. You can also call 800-772-1213 for direct deposit or 800-333-1795 for Direct Express.