How Are Social Security Disability Benefits Calculated in Tennessee?

August 20th, 2020 by Attorney John Colvin

calculating SSDI benefits

The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program provides a desperately needed financial lifeline to people who are no longer able to work on a full-time basis. If a disability or medical condition is keeping you off of the job, you might be eligible to obtain disability compensation. This raises an important question: How are my SSDI benefits calculated? In this article, our Tullahoma Social Security disability lawyer explains the most important things that you should know about how SSDI benefits are calculated in Tennessee. 

Know the Factors that Affect Your SSDI Benefits

The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses several different factors to calculate an applicant’s disability benefits. Depending on the specific circumstances of your case, any combination of the following may affect your Social Security disability benefits: 

  • Work History: In contrast to the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, an individual must have “paid in” to SSDI to be eligible for benefits. Your work history will impact both your eligibility and your level of benefits. As explained by the Social Security Administration, the number of work credits you need to qualify for SSDI benefits depends on your age. If you have questions about work history and your benefits, a Tennessee Social Security disability attorney can help.  
  • Average Monthly Earnings: In calculating your SSDI benefits, the federal government uses a formula based around a number called ‘Average Indexed Monthly Earnings’ or ‘AIME’. Essentially, the SSA uses a complex weighted curve to determine exactly how much should be paid in SSDI benefits based on an applicant’s age, work history, and career earnings. To get a better understanding of your potential compensation, the agency offers a basic Social Security benefits calculator that you can use to reach an estimate. 
  • Offsets (Reductions): Your current monthly income (or lack of income) will impact your benefits. Some SSDI beneficiaries will have their benefits offset (reduced) because they are receiving support from another program. Most often, this is an issue for people who are getting workers’ comp benefits or some other type of retirement benefits.

Most SSDI beneficiaries receive between $800 and $1,800 per month—with the maximum disability benefit being just over $3,000 per month. Calculating SSDI benefits can be complicated. We do not want people or families to leave money on the table. You need the full financial support that you are entitled to under federal law. If you believe that you are owed more than you are actually receiving, a lawyer can help. 

Get Help From a Social Security Disability Professional in Tennessee

At the Law Offices of John Colvin, our Tullahoma Social Security disability advocate is a skilled, experienced advocate for claimants. If you have questions about how disability benefits are calculated, we are more than ready to help. For a no-cost review of your SSDI or SSI claim, please contact our legal team now. With an office in Tullahoma, we handle Social Security disability cases throughout the region, including in Manchester, Hillsboro, and all of Coffee County.

Licensed to Practice in Tennessee & Alabama