The first question most people ask regarding their Social Security benefits
is “Am I eligible to receive them?” The second question they
usually ask is “How much can I receive?” This is not a straightforward
answer, but is one which can be calculated through a bit of careful research
and reflection on your personal finances.
Social Security benefits are calculated based on the type of benefits you
wish to receive, whether or not you have paid into Social Security for
your working life, and what your current income level is. The exact formulas
are complex and weigh several different values differently in order to
come to a benefit number. However, there is a maximum amount to the benefits
one could receive: $2,639/month for Social Security Disability and $2,687.00/month
for Social Security retirement benefits for the year 2017.
Retirement & Disability Benefits
For retirement and disability benefits, the exact number takes into account
the amount of time the amount of money you have earned on which you have
paid Social Security taxes—known as “covered earnings.”
The amount you have paid into the system averaged over the number of years
in which you paid it in gives you a number known as your average indexed
monthly earnings (AIME). Most people don’t know this number off-hand
or even have records accurate enough to determine it on their own, so
you can get it from the Social Security Administration by requesting a
Social Security statement from their website.
From there, a formula is applied to your AIME to calculate your “primary
insurance amount” (PIA), which is the base figure the SSA uses when
determining your benefit award. This formula is adjusted year by year
for things such as inflation and increased cost of living. From there,
your PIA is then used to determine what your monthly award should be.
There is an easier way to calculate a rough estimate, however, and it’s
conveniently available online. The only thing you need is your salary
information for yourself over the years you’ve worked, and you can
plug in numbers to come up with a number that will likely be fairly close
to your actual award.
You can find that calculator online here.
Supplemental Security Income Benefits
Supplemental Security Income is calculated differently because you are
not required to pay into the system in order to receive them, and the
formula is not designed around your income over your working life. Instead,
it’s more complex and takes into account any “countable income,”
which is anything you receive during a calendar month which could be used
to help pay for things like food and shelter. Any income from a small
job, food stamps, gifts, or even received food or shelter all could reduce
the number of benefits you receive. For the year 2017, the maximum monthly
amount you can receive is $735.00, though the odds of you receiving that
full amount are not very high.
When you need assistance with a Social Security issue, our Detroit Social
Security Disability attorneys are here to assist you. With more than 75
years of combined experience, the team at
Goodman Acker P.C. has the experience and knowledge you need on your side to help you navigate
the complexities of a Social Security issue. We can help you through every
step of the process, including the initial application phase, appeals,
hearings, and more. We strive to help you get the benefits you need to
help you live your life comfortably with your conditions.
For a free case review, call Goodman Acker P.C. at (248) 793-2010 and speak
with a skilled member of our team today!