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How are the Average Monthly Earnings (AME) or the Average Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME) computed?

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at

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There are 6 Comments

I would like some information on getting disability. I have been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. How soon would disability start and How much would I get a month. Any help or information would be greatly appreciated.

can i get dissability with a perminate back injury i am only 20 years old?

Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the last 10 years ending with the year you become disabled. However, younger workers may qualify with fewer credits.

For example, if your disability began before age 24, you may qualify if you have 6 credits earned in the 3-year period ending when your disability starts.

In 2011, for example, you earn one credit for each $1,120 of wages or self-employment income. When you've earned $4,480, you've earned your four credits for the year.

I am a 46 year old female who has been diagnosed with CRPS and RA recently. I am just curious about how hard it would be to get SS disability? I have a family to support and can not afford to be out of work for very long.

Yes, it may be possible to qualify for Social Security disability.

RSDS/CRPS constitutes a medically determinable impairment when it is documented by appropriate medical signs, symptoms, and laboratory findings, as discussed above. RSDS/CRPS may be the basis for a finding of "disability." Disability may not be established on the basis of an individual’s statement of symptoms alone.

Note there is a five-month waiting period before benefits can begin.

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Not affiliated with the US Social Security Administration