Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federally mandated disability insurance program. Overseen by the Social Security Administration (SSA), it operates separately from the retirement program and from the Supplemental Security Income program, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Like these other Social Security programs, individuals and their employers pay for this federal insurance program through the Federal Insurance Contributions Act taxes through automatic deductions in paychecks.
SSDI provides monthly benefits to individuals who are under the full retirement age of 65 or older and who can no longer work because of a severe disability.
The SSA has a Listing of Impairments that describes medical conditions that can be so severe that a person may be awarded SSDI monthly payments.
Once the person qualifies for this federal insurance program, the SSA presumes that any person who has a medical condition(s) that satisfies the criteria of a certain listing is unable to perform any gainful activity. Therefore, s/he is identified as “disabled.”
The disability leading to an inability to work also must have lasted or be expected to last for at least 12 continuous months, or it must be expected to result in death.
According to SSA, the listings are special rules that help the SSA agents identify claimants that should be approved for all SSDI benefits.