What Goes Into Your Monthly Check

In Monday’s post, we mentioned the Monthly Benefit Amount (MBA), which is the amount that each recipient receives from the Social Security Administration (SSA) for disability benefits. The SSA uses several factors to determine each recipient’s MBA, but the average payment in September 2012 was $1111. Listed below are some factors the SSA takes into consideration when deciding on your monthly benefit.

  • They consider how long the individual has paid in taxes toward Social Security. If the person has been paying taxes for 30 years, the monthly benefit might be higher than a person who has been paying into the system for 10 years.
  • Related to the number of years a person has been paying into the system, the SSA also considers the recipient’s salary before his or her injury. Someone who made $40,000 a year paid more in taxes for the same amount of time as a person who only made $25,000 per year.
  • Evaluators will also consider the area in which the recipient lives. The cost of rent, transportation and food varies in different parts of the country, so benefit amounts in New York City may be higher than those in Des Moines, Iowa.

Additionally, the SSA periodically adjusts the MBA to account for a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) due to inflation. COLA increases may be very small (as little as 1.3 percent), but it may make a difference in a recipient’s ability to pay his or her heating bill or medication costs.

If you have questions or concerns about your monthly benefit amount or any other area related to gaining or maintaining disability benefits, contact a Tulsa Social Security disability benefits attorney. We offer free consultations and are eager to discuss your case with you and consider your options. You may also reach us by phone at (918) 587-0050.

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