Contact Us for a Free Consultation 1 (860) 523-8783


How Are SSDI Payments Calculated? (Updated for 2024)

Posted by James Aspell | Apr 03, 2024 | 0 Comments

Social Security Disability Flow Chart

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) provides essential financial assistance to individuals who are unable to work due to a disability. Understanding how these payments are calculated is crucial for anyone who relies on this benefit. This comprehensive guide will break down the calculation process, factors affecting the amount, and recent changes for 2024.

Understanding SSDI: A Brief Overview

SSDI is a program managed by the Social Security Administration (SSA) designed to provide income supplements to people who are physically restricted in their ability to be employed because of a notable disability (usually physical).

Eligibility Criteria for SSDI

Before diving into the calculation specifics, it's important to understand who qualifies for SSDI. Eligibility is based on a combination of work credit accumulation and the severity of the disability.

Work Credits Explained

Work credits are based on total yearly wages or self-employment income. You can earn up to four credits each year. The number of work credits needed to qualify for SSDI depends on your age at the time of disability.

Severity of Disability

The disability must significantly limit your ability to perform basic work activities and is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death.

Factors Influencing SSDI Payment Amounts

Several factors influence the amount of SSDI payments, including your average lifetime earnings, the year you became disabled, and any adjustments for inflation.

Calculating Your Average Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME)

The SSA calculates your AIME by taking your total taxable earnings over your career, adjusting them for inflation, and averaging them over the years you worked.

Applying the Bend Points Formula

The actual calculation of SSDI benefits involves applying a formula to your AIME, which includes specific percentages of different amounts of earnings (known as bend points). These bend points are adjusted annually for inflation.

2024 Bend Points

  • The first bend point affects the first $1,024 of your AIME.
  • The second bend point affects earnings between $1,024 and $6,172.
  • Earnings above $6,172 fall under the third bend point.

Maximizing Your SSDI Benefits

Understanding how to maximize your SSDI benefits can help ensure you receive the highest possible payment.

Check Your Social Security Statement

Regularly reviewing your Social Security statement can help you understand your earnings record and potential SSDI benefits. This statement is available online through the Social Security Administration's website.

Impact of Other Benefits on SSDI

Receiving other government benefits can affect the amount of SSDI you receive. It's important to report any such benefits to the SSA to ensure your SSDI payment is calculated accurately.

Recent Changes Affecting SSDI Calculations in 2024

Updates in policies and inflation adjustments have led to changes in how SSDI payments are calculated.

Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA)

For 2024, the SSA has applied a Cost of Living Adjustment. This adjustment increases SSDI payments to keep up with inflation, impacting the overall benefits recipients will receive.

Legislative Changes

Recent legislative changes aimed at improving the SSDI program may also influence benefit calculations and eligibility.

SSDI Payment Schedule

Understanding when you will receive your SSDI payments is as important as knowing how much you will receive.

Payment Frequency

SSDI benefits are paid monthly. The payment date depends on your birthday and can vary slightly due to weekends and holidays.

Planning for the Future with SSDI

While SSDI provides necessary support, planning for additional income sources and managing your benefits effectively can help secure your financial future.

Investing in Other Disability Insurances

Consider other types of disability insurances that can complement your SSDI benefits, providing additional coverage and security.

Financial Planning and Assistance

Financial planning services can help you make the most of your SSDI benefits and plan for long-term financial stability.


Calculating SSDI payments involves understanding several key components, including your earnings history, the impact of recent legislative changes, and the SSA's specific formulas. By staying informed and proactive about managing your benefits, you can maximize your SSDI payments and ensure financial stability despite your disability.

FAQs About SSDI Payments

What is the maximum SSDI benefit for 2024?

The maximum SSDI benefit for 2024 has been adjusted for inflation and depends on your earnings record.

Can I work while receiving SSDI benefits?

Yes, you can work while receiving SSDI benefits, but there are limits to how much you can earn without affecting your benefits.

How does marriage affect my SSDI benefits?

Marriage may affect your SSDI benefits if your spouse also receives SSDI or other types of Social Security benefits.

What is the duration of SSDI benefits?

SSDI benefits continue as long as your disability prevents


About the Author

James Aspell

Principal since August 1, 2006 James F. Aspell is the principal and managing attorney of the firm which he started in 2006 following 20 years of litigation practice in a mid -size firm in Hartford, Connecticut. Jim focuses his practice in the areas of worker's compensation and personal injury l...


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment


Law Offices of James F. Aspell, P.C
860-521-3808 (fax)
Mon: 08:00am - 06:00pm
Tue: 08:00am - 06:00pm
Wed: 08:00am - 06:00pm
Thu: 08:00am - 06:00pm
Fri: 08:00am - 06:00pm