How Are SSDI Disability Monthly Benefits Calculated in Arkansas?

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal program administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). These benefits are awarded to claimants who have a qualifying disability and are unable to perform work as a result of their condition. The amount of benefits awarded to a claimant can vary from case to case.

There are multiple factors that will be considered when determining the amount of SSDI monthly benefits to award in your case such as your work history and average lifetime earnings. Still, it is important to note that there is a maximum amount of payment you can receive through SSDI each month. The exact maximum payment amount is set by the SSA and is subject to change each year. In 2023, the maximum amount of SSDI benefits you can receive per month is $3,627.

If you need help recovering SSDI benefits in Arkansas, seek help by calling our experienced Arkansas social security disability attorneys at (479) 316-0438 to discuss your claim for free.

Using Your Primary Insurance Amount to Calculate SSDI Disability Benefits in Arkansas

Your primary insurance amount (PIA) is the base amount used by the SSA to calculate your SSDI benefits in Arkansas. The following process will be followed when making this calculation:

Average Lifetime Earnings

First, the SSA will examine your work history and calculate your average indexed monthly earnings (AIME). This involves adjusting your past income for inflation in order to reflect its current value.

The SSA selects a specific period of time to examine for your AIME calculation. The number of years to be considered can vary depending on your age and work history. Usually, the SSA considers your highest-earning years.

Primary Insurance Amount

After calculating your AIME, your PIA may be determined. Your PIA represents the amount of benefits you would receive if you became disabled at your full retirement age. Typically, full retirement age is reached at 66 or 67 years old.

The SSA will apply a formula to your AIME in order to determine your PIA. The formula is structured to provide more substantial support to individuals with lower income and fewer financial resources. The intent behind this approach is to provide necessary help to individuals who have had lower earning capacities as the result of factors like limited education and health issues.

What Other Factors Are Considered When Calculating SSDI Benefits in Arkansas?

Besides your PIA, there are multiple additional factors that the SSA may consider when calculating your SSDI benefits in Arkansas. For instance, any of the following may be analyzed:

Cost-of-Living Adjustments

The amount of SSDI benefits you receive may be adjusted in order to account for changes in your cost of living. The SSA considers the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) to determine the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) that may be applied in your case.

Family Benefits

SSDI benefits may be extended to eligible family members of a disabled claimant. This can include a spouse, dependent children, or, in some cases, dependent parents. Family benefits are generally calculated as a percentage of the claimant’s PIA. However, they may be subject to certain limits.

Date of Entitlement

Your date of entitlement may also affect the amount of SSDI benefits you receive. This refers to the date when your disability started. Your date of entitlement may have an impact on your back pay period.

Your back pay period refers to the period of time where you were eligible for SSDI benefits but did not receive them. This period usually starts on the date of entitlement.

Waiting Period

Furthermore, you may be withheld from recovering benefits if you are still within the waiting period. There is a mandatory five-month waiting period for SSDI benefits. This means that you are not eligible to receive benefits for the first five full months of your disability. The waiting period commences on the day your disability begins.

Work Incentives

If you take advantage work incentives while disabled, then your SSDI benefits may be altered. SSDI recipients have incentives that encourage them to return to work while still receiving their benefits. For instance, the Ticket to Work program allows a trial work period where claimants can test their ability to return to their jobs without losing their benefits.

However, earnings from work can impact the amount of SSDI benefits, and the SSA has rules and thresholds for the level of earnings that may affect the benefit amount.

Offset from Other Benefits

Finally, your SSDI benefits may be offset or reduced if you are receiving other types of benefits like Workers’ Compensation benefits or other public disability benefits. The SSA has systems in place to manage the coordination of benefits and ensure that no one is awarded an excessive amount.

Eligibility for SSDI Disability Benefits in Arkansas

There are certain criteria that must be met in order to be considered eligible for SSDI benefits. For example, you must have a medically determinable disability that prevents you from participating in substantial gainful activity (SGA). Furthermore, your disability must also be expected to last at least one year or result in death. Finally, you must have accumulated a sufficient number of work credits. Work credits are earned through your work history and payment of social security taxes. Our legal team can help analyze these factors to determine eligibility in your case.

Disability Reviews for SSDI Benefits in Arkansas

If you are awarded SSDI benefits, then you will be subject to periodic reviews by the SSA to determine your continued eligibility for benefits. These reviews are conducted to find out if there has been any improvement in your medical condition that would allow you to return to work. If your condition has improved, then your monthly benefit amount may be lowered.

If You Need Help Obtaining SSDI Disability Benefits in Arkansas, Call Our Lawyers Today

Seek guidance and support from our experienced Farmington, AR social security disability lawyers by dialing (479) 316-0438 for a free review of your case.