Disability Income Calculator

Use our free disability income calculator to estimate how much disability insurance you’ll need to cover your expenses.

Matthew Jones Matthew Jones Writer and Editor
Jeff Hoyt Jeff Hoyt Editor in Chief

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Do I Need Disability Income Insurance?

According to Pew Research, approximately 13% of the U.S. population (or 42.5 million people) have a disability, and older Americans are more likely to have a disability than younger Americans.1 If you’re a working adult nearing retirement, your chances of experiencing a disability that limits your ability to work are dramatically increased. While you can get Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), it only replaces a portion of your earnings. Many people require additional income sources to cover all of their expenses.

Even if you don’t work in a high-risk job, there’s always the risk of becoming disabled. Disability income insurance gives you peace of mind knowing that, if you do get injured or cannot work due to a disability, you have a way to continue receiving a regular paycheck.

How to Use Our Disability Income Calculator

Our disability income calculator is specifically designed to help you see how much disability income you require to cover your basic expenses. The information you need to get your results is divided into two categories – monthly income and monthly expenses.

Monthly Income

  • Spouse’s after-tax income
  • Investment income
  • Group or individual disability income
  • Other monthly income

The figures you put into your monthly income will vary based on your living situation. If you’re not married or do not live with someone who shares financial responsibilities with you, you can skip the first box. If you receive income from investments (like dividends or annuity payments), include these in your calculations. Next, input any existing disability income you receive (like SSDI). Finally, make sure to count any other income you receive that doesn’t fit into the other categories.

FYI:

FYI: Unsure what kind of insurance you need for the future? Check out our guide to insurance for seniors!

Monthly Expenses

  • Monthly mortgage or rent payment
  • Loan repayments
  • Utilities
  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Transportation
  • Education or tuition
  • Medical expenses and personal care
  • Insurance premiums
  • Other expenses

This part of the calculation shows exactly how much you’re spending each month in different categories. Ideally, you should look over your bank statements and try to find an average monthly cost for each of these categories, particularly ones that are likely to vary on a monthly basis. If you find certain expenses that don’t fit into any of the primary categories, add them all up in the “other” expenses. Once all is said and done, you should account for all of your regular monthly expenditures to make the results as accurate as possible.

Interpreting the Results

The results you get are pretty straightforward. You will see how much income you’re currently bringing in (with a disability), the sum of your monthly expenses, and the difference between the two (or “surplus”). If your current income is more than enough to pay your bills, you will have a positive surplus. This means you won’t need additional sources of income or relief to make ends meet. If your surplus is negative, your expenses are greater than your income, and you may need to find another source of income to pay your bills.

Did You Know?

Did You Know? If you’re eligible for SSDI, you can also get Medicare or Medicaid after a 24-month qualifying period.

Either way, it may be worth the time and money to acquire a private disability insurance policy. This could help supplement SSDI and any other income sources you have. Additionally, if you’re a military veteran, you may be eligible for VA disability benefits.

FAQs About Disability

  • How do I calculate how much I would get on disability?

    While the Social Security Administration can help you calculate your potential SSDI benefits, calculations from private disability insurance can vary based on the carrier, policy, and income. Generally, you can expect to receive roughly half of your monthly wages from the preceding months once your benefit period starts.

  • What if my disability check is not enough?

    If you can’t live on your disability check alone, many states offer programs to reduce costs for disabled individuals. If you’re 55 or over, be sure to check out our senior discounts guide to learn about more ways to save on everything from clothing to OTC medications.

  • Can I live off of SSDI?

    Living off of Social Security Disability Insurance alone would be challenging, but not impossible. If you’ve paid off your house and are nearing retirement, you can live off of SSDI and use any retirement savings and benefits to supplement your disability income.

Citations
  1. Pew Research Center. (2023). 8 facts about Americans with disabilities.

Written By:
Matthew Jones
Writer and Editor
Matthew is a freelance writer who has written on a wide range of topics, from personal finance to nutrition. Over the past three years, Matthew has worked extensively on articles and guides for seniors related to Medicare, insurance, and finance…. Learn More About Matthew Jones
Reviewed By:
Jeff Hoyt
Editor in Chief
As Editor-in-Chief of the personal finance site MoneyTips.com, Jeff produced hundreds of articles on the subject of retirement, including preventing identity theft, minimizing taxes, investing successfully, preparing for retirement medical costs, protecting your credit score, and making your money last… Learn More About Jeff Hoyt
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