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Family Maximum Benefit (Disability)


Photo credit: jb

In a previous article we talked about the Social Security Family Maximum Benefit for a retired worker – and we mentioned that there was a separate calculation for the Social Security Family Maximum Benefit for a disabled worker.

This calculation is much simpler than the retired worker calculation for Family Maximum Benefits. Nonetheless, hang on to your hat, keep your arms and legs inside the car at all times, cuz this may still get a little outtahand:

The family maximum for the spouse and children of a disabled worker is 85% of the worker’s Average Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME), but the family maximum cannot be less than the worker’s Primary Insurance Amount (PIA) nor more than 150% of the PIA.

If you’ll recall, the FMB for a retirement benefit is solely based on the PIA. This allows for an adjustment upward in some cases if the AIME is smaller, at the lower end of the spectrum. The crossover point from the PIA floor occurs (for 2023) on a AIME between $1,200 and $1,300, and the crossover from 85% of AIME to 150% of PIA occurs between $2,600 and $2,700.


Let’s use an example AIME amount:  $4,400.00. For this worker reaching age 62 in 2023, the PIA would be $2,054.70.

So, the maximum family benefit for the disabled worker’s family would be equal to the lesser of 85% of the AIME or 150% of the PIA, but in no case not less than the PIA.

85% of the AIME:  85% times $4,400.00 = $3,740.00
150% of the PIA:  150% times $2,054.70 = $3,082.05

The maximum family benefit is the lesser of those two factors, or $3,082.05 – rounded up to the nearest dime as $3,082.10.

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