what is the highest paying state for disability

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what is the highest paying state for disability

Which States Have the Highest Disability Benefit Programs to Supplement Social Security Disability?

The onset of a serious long-term or permanent disability often leads to severe financial hardship for the afflicted individual and his or her family.

While the disability benefits that are offered by the Social Security Administration through its Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), also known as Title XVI benefits, aren’t always enough to make ends meet, some states offer supplemental disability benefits to help those who are in a financial bind due to a disabling condition. Understanding which states offer the highest disability benefit programs, and what options may be available from the state in which you reside, can be quite confusing.

The information contained in this article will provide some insight into which states offer the highest disability programs to supplement a disabled worker’s Social Security Disability payments.

To understand which states offer the best disability benefit programs, you should first be aware that some states do not offer any supplementary funds to the funds that are provided by the federal government in the form of SSDI or SSI payments. These states include Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, and West Virginia.

Of the states that do offer supplements to Social Security Disability benefits, there are a few that offer somewhat higher-than-average benefit payment amounts. These states are outlined below. Although individual payment amounts will vary depending on a claimant’s specific living situation, household income, and any cost of living adjustments. The amount of supplemental benefits in each state is as follows:

Alaska

An Alaska resident may receive between $45 and $521 per month in addition to the benefits provided to them by the Social Security Administration.

California

A California resident may receive between $20 and $412 per month in addition to the benefits provided to them by the Social Security Administration.

Idaho

An Idaho resident may receive between $52 and $473 per month in addition to the benefits provided to them by the Social Security Administration.

Iowa

An Iowa resident may receive between $22 and $480.55 per month in addition to the benefits provided to them by the Social Security Administration.

Kentucky

A Kentucky resident may receive between $65 and $520 per month in addition to the benefits provided to them by the Social Security Administration.

Nevada

A Nevada resident may receive between $24.27 and $391 per month in addition to the benefits provided to them by the Social Security Administration.

New Jersey

A New Jersey resident may receive between $10 and $363.36 per month in addition to the benefits provided to them by the Social Security Administration.

New York

A New York resident may receive between $23 and $694 per month in addition to the benefits provided to them by the Social Security Administration.

North Carolina

A North Carolina resident may receive between $97 and $887 per month in addition to the benefits provided to them by the Social Security Administration.

Vermont

A Vermont resident may receive between $48.38 and $223.94 per month in addition to the benefits provided to them by the Social Security Administration.

Wisconsin

A Wisconsin resident may receive between $83.78 and $179.77 per month in addition to the benefits provided to them by the Social Security Administration.

As mentioned, the exact amount received in any state will depend on your household income, your living arrangements (whether you live alone, with a family member, in an assisted living facility, etc.), and other qualifying criteria.

It is important to note that individuals who may not qualify for additional cash benefits due to the lack of supplemental income provided by their state may still qualify for other benefits, such as food stamps and medicaid coverage. If you or somebody in your family suffers from a serious disabling condition, you should contact the human services agency available in your state to determine exactly what benefits you may qualify for in addition to the federal assistance you receive in the form of SSI or SSDI.

If you’re eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, the amount you receive each month will be based on your average lifetime earnings before your disability began. Unlike veterans compensation, workers’ comp, or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments, SSDI isn’t based on how severe your disability is or how much income you have—everything depends on those lifetime earnings.

Number of SSDI Recipients by Size of Benefit

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Most SSDI recipients receive between $700 and $1,400 per month. But if you’re receiving disability payments from other sources, your payment may be reduced. (More on reduced payments below.)

Estimating Your Social Security Disability Amount

In 2022, the average SSDI payment for an individual is $1,358, but almost two-thirds of SSDI recipients receive less than that. And only 10% of SSDI recipients receive $2,000 per month or more.

The 2022 average monthly benefit for an SSDI recipient who has a spouse and children is $2,383. (Minor children and spouses who are taking care of children or are retirement age can also get benefits.)

Because benefit amounts depend on lifetime earnings, there’s a large range in how much Social Security pays. For instance, let’s look at age 55, the most common age disabilities start. For 55-year-olds who have worked their entire lives, Social Security typically pays $1,000 to $2,700. The benefits pay chart here shows you the ranges based on income.SSDI pay ranges for age 55

Within those ranges, the amount you’ll receive will depend on the following:

  • your average income over 35 years
  • whether you paid self-employment taxes if you owned your own business or freelanced
  • whether you worked in any jobs that didn’t pay into the Social Security system (such as state or local government jobs), and
  • whether you took any years off work for child-rearing or long-term illness.

Calculating Your Monthly SSDI Payment

The exact amount of money people get for SSDI each month is unique for every individual. The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a complex weighted formula to calculate benefits for each person, up to 2022’s maximum benefit of $3,345.

Doing the math yourself is difficult, but here’s how the formula works. (Fortunately, there are easier ways to find out how much in Social Security disability you’ll get, which we cover in the next section.)

AIME. Social Security bases your retirement and disability benefits on the amount of income on which you’ve paid Social Security taxes—called “covered earnings.” Your average covered earnings over the past 35 years is known as your “average indexed monthly earnings” (AIME).

Bend points. The SSDI formula uses fixed percentages of different amounts of income. These percentages, called “bend points,” are adjusted each year. In 2022, here are the bend points and how they come together:

  • 90% of the first $1,024 of your AIME
  • plus 32% of your AIME from $1,024 to $6,172
  • plus 15% of your AIME over $6,172.

PIA. Adding those three figures together gives the SSA your primary insurance amount (PIA). Your PIA is the base figure the SSA uses in setting your benefit amount.

How Do I Find Out My Social Security Benefit Amount?

Your Social Security Statement, which the SSA recently redesigned, is the best place to find your SSDI benefit amount. You can find your statement online at www.ssa.gov/myaccount. (Note that Social Security only sends out printed statements to people over 60 who aren’t receiving benefits and don’t have an online account at Social Security’s website.)

If you don’t receive benefits yet, your Social Security Statement will show you what your SSDI payment will be if you get approved for disability benefits this year. It also shows what your retirement benefit would be at age 62, 67, and 70. You can also check your entire covered earnings history on your Social Security Statement.

The SSA still has an online benefits calculator that you can use to get an estimate of your monthly benefits, but if you sign up for an account to see your new Social Security Statement, you won’t need it. You can also call your local Social Security office, and a field representative will be able to help you estimate what your benefits would be.Average SSDI Benefit in 2022

Average SSDI Benefit in 2022
Monthly Social Security disability benefits range from $100 to $3,345 in 2022.

Other Income That Could Reduce Your SSDI Payment

Any disability benefits you receive from a private long-term disability insurance policy won’t affect your SSDI benefits. Nor will SSI or VA benefits impact your SSDI amount. But government-regulated disability benefits, such as workers’ comp or temporary state disability benefits, can affect your SSDI benefits. Here’s how that works: If the amount in SSDI plus the amount from government-regulated disability benefits is more than 80% of the amount you earned before you became disabled, the SSDI or other benefits will be reduced.Example: How Other Income Can Affect SSDI Benefits

Before Inez became disabled, her average earnings were $5,000 per month. Inez, her spouse, and her two children would be eligible to receive a total of $3,000 a month in Social Security disability benefits. But Inez also receives $2,000 a month from workers’ compensation.

The total amount of benefits Inez and her family would receive—$5,000—is more than 80% of her average earnings. (It’s 100% of her average earnings.) So, her family’s Social Security benefits will be reduced by $1,000, from $3,000 to $2,000. That way, the $2,000 a month from workers’ comp and the $2,000 in disability benefits means they will receive a total of $4,000 per month, which is 80% of the earnings figure of $5,000.

The following types of government benefits could lower your SSDI payment:

  • workers’ comp payments
  • state short-term disability payments
  • civil service disability benefits, and
  • state or local government retirement benefits based on disability.

Changes to Your SSDI Amount

Most years, your monthly SSDI payment will go up, thanks to Social Security’s annual cost of living adjustment (COLA). You can find the annual COLA here.

Once you’re eligible for Medicare benefits (two years after you become entitled to SSDI benefits), the cost of Medicare Part B will be taken directly out of your Social Security check. Most people will pay a premium of $158.50 for Part B in 2022, but the amount can be quite a bit higher for those with high income. If you have low income, on the other hand, a Medicare Savings Program can pay your Part B premium.

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