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Can you live on disability benefits alone?

Rising living costs are making it necessary for many to seek multiple sources of income. If you are someone who cannot work due to a disability, this struggle can bear a greater weight. Monthly Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payouts may help take care of your basic needs, but it may not stretch enough to cover everything. It then becomes crucial to explore other means of generating income.

How much can you earn from SSDI benefits?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a formula that considers your average indexed monthly earnings (AIME) and lifetime average earnings before becoming disabled to determine your payment amount. You can get an estimate by using the SSA calculator.

While the maximum SSDI payout in 2023 is $3,627 per month, beneficiaries usually receive between $800 to $1,800 per month. Other government benefits, such as SSI or workers’ compensation, could reduce the SSDI amount.

Other ways to earn while on SSDI

SSDI payments act as a safety net for those who can no longer work. Coupled with other government benefits or support from loved ones, many recipients are able to budget these payments and live without complaints.

Yet, individual circumstances and SSDI amounts and circumstances can vary greatly. Unexpected costs, such as medical emergencies or increased housing costs, can strain a person’s finances.

When making ends meet becomes a burden, it may be worth considering other government benefits or earning opportunities available to you. If you meet the criteria, you could receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments along with SSDI. Meanwhile, the Ticket to Work program allows you to work while receiving disability benefits.

In addition, your family members or dependents may be qualified to receive SSDI payments as well. Your spouse or minor children may be able to claim a percentage of your earnings. Obtaining family benefits could help raise your monthly household income without affecting what you receive.

The amount you receive from SSDI payments, combined with your personal circumstances, will dictate how comfortably you can live. If finances are strained, there are numerous options you can explore. However, navigating the qualification and application processes for these options can be complex without legal guidance.