Social Security Disability Insurance pays benefits to you and certain members of your family if you are “insured,” meaning that you worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes.
The disabled claimant must be unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity because of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment. The disability must have lasted or be expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months, or be expected to result in death.
The physical or mental impairment must be established by objective findings by a medical provider and subjective complaints by the claimant.
If you qualify for SSDI, actual disability payments cannot be made until five months after the date of the onset of disability. Health insurance is available through Medicare starting 24 months the after the initial five-month waiting period. There are a few exceptions to the two-year rule.