Frequently Asked Questions About Social Security Disability (SSD)


  • How much does Social Security Disability pay per month?

There are two main programs for the disabled under the Social Security Administration. Social Security Disability, also called Disability Insurance Benefits (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). For Disability Insurance Benefits – the amount depends on how much you have paid in FICA taxes over the years. The Maximum payment is $2,788/month based on if you pay the maximum taxable earnings of 128,400 in 2018. The average SSDI payment for 2018 is $1,197. SSDI benefits are determined on a case-by-case basis. Current earnings, previous earnings, and the number of dependents—if any—all influence the base amount a beneficiary will receive.

For SSI, the maximum for 2018 is $750/month for an individual or $1,125 for an eligible individual with an eligible spouse. SSI is a need-based program and, unlike SSDI, does not depend on your past work history. If you currently have a monthly income, half of anything you earn over $85 per month will be deducted from the maximum amount of benefits in order to determine your SSI amount.

  • Can I work when I am on Social Security Disability?

Disability is about proving you are unable to work. Therefore, if you are working while filing for disability, that can be used against you. However, there are always exceptions to the rule. Visit our specialized Working on SSD page for more information about possible exceptions.

  • Which pays more: Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income?

Disability typically pays more than SSI. However, if your SSDI benefit is less than $750 per month (which is the SSI maximum), then the SSDI recipient may be eligible for the Supplemental benefit to so the combined amount of SSDI and SSI is the SSI maximum of $750.

  • Can I get Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Benefits at the same time?

Applicants who cannot qualify for SSI due to excess income or assets may still receive SSD—and SSI may still be available without the work history to qualify for SSD. In a particular set of circumstances, some recipients may receive both Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) from the Social Security Administration (SSA) at the same time. This is commonly known as “concurrent benefits”. Strict financial and medical requirements apply in these cases.

  • Do I have to file taxes on Social Security Disability?

For the majority of people who receive Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA), their benefits are not subject to federal income tax. A few exceptions, however, will apply. Recipients who are married and file jointly will pay no income tax if they receive a total combined income of less than $32,000 per year. This incorporates 50% of their SSD benefits. If the same couple receives a total combined income greater than $32,000 a year, a portion of their SSD benefits will be taxable at the federal level. Note that most states do not consider SSD to be taxable income.

If you do not make more than $25,000 a year and file as an individual or your household income is less than $32,000 per year and you file jointly, you will not have to pay taxes on your Social Security Disability benefits.

  • Questions about applying and qualifying for Social Security Disability?

Visit our specialized Applying & Qualifying for SSD FAQs page for more information.