How to Figure Out Your Social Security Disability Benefits


The process of applying for Social Security disability benefits — when coupled with the long wait that may consist of hearings, denials and appeals — can be challenging for all parties involved. At least one element of the procedure, however, is relatively straightforward. A determination of what your payment will be if you are awarded disability benefits is easy, and you may obtain the information without directly contacting the Social Security Administration.

Read your annual Social Security earnings statement. It contains a section for disability benefits. Skip all of the material related to retirement. If you do not have your statement, don't worry: There is another way to calculate your Social Security disability benefits.

Use the Social Security Administration's online Quick Calculator. Don't worry about the link or verbiage not having to do with disability. All of Social Security's calculators produce benefit estimates for both retirement and disability.

Enter information requested for "Date of Birth," "Earnings in the current year" or earnings from a previous year (if you didn't work this year).

Check the button for "today's dollars."

Press the "Submit Request" button.

Read the result in the Disability/Survivor section. Ignore the results from the Retirement section since they don't apply to you.

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