§ 172. Disability Benefits - Amount

The monthly disability insurance benefit is the individual's full "primary insurance amount," an amount that is based on his or her earnings history. The age at which disability benefits begin has no effect on the monthly amount except in the unusual situation in which the person becomes eligible for disability benefits after having begun old-age insurance (retirement) benefits. In such a case, the individual will be between the age of 62 and his or her "full retirement age" (which is between 65 and 67 depending on year of birth) and the disability benefit amount will be reduced to reflect the months of early payment of old-age insurance benefits. When a person is entitled to both an old-age insurance and disability benefit, he or she can receive only one.

Disability insurance benefits may also be reduced when an individual is at the same time receiving workers compensation or equivalent benefits under a state or federal program. Such reduction occurs when the combined total of disability insurance and such other benefits (including benefits to other family members) exceeds 80% of the worker's average earnings immediately prior to the onset of disability. In addition, a "Windfall Elimination Provision" reduces the base benefit for individuals who also receive pensions based on employment that was not covered and taxed by Social Security, as for example, work for some government agencies or employment outside the U.S.

See generally SSA, Windfall Elimination Provision.
Rev. 2/12

  • Related Sections:
    • Part 1
      § 170. Disability Benefits - In General
      § 173. Disability Benefits - Relationship to Prior or Subsequent Benefits Received by Worker
      § 174. Disability Benefits - Benefits for Others That Are Linked To
      § 180. Disability Benefits - Disability Determination - In General
      § 181. Disability Benefits - Disability Determination - Procedure Employed
      § 182. Disability Benefits - Disability Determination - End of Disability
      § 190. How Disability Affects Non-Disability Benefits
    • Part 2
      § B 100. Primary Insurance Amount
      § B 150. Full Retirement Age
      § B 200. Cost of Living Adjustment
      § N 100. Disabled Worker Claiming Disability Insurance
      § Q 300. Workers' Compensation Offset
      § Q 400. Public Pension Offset
      § Q 600. Interplay of DI With Black Lung Benefits