Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a benefit program offered by the federal government to US citizens who have worked in the past and paid Social Security taxes. SSDI is given to individuals who are unable to work due to a mental or physical disability. Beyond the previous work requirement, in order to qualify for SSDI individuals must prove that they will be unable to work for at least one year. SSDI cannot be used as a short term benefit to close an income gap due to temporary injury.
Under the federal Social Security Disability Act, "disability" means the "inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physician or mental impairment which can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months or result in death."
Individuals who qualify for SSDI may also be eligible for additional federal benefit programs to help manage the costs of living such as Supplemental Social Security Income (SSI). Benefits that are paid out will be determined by your past earning history and standard of living formulas applied by the federal government to determine what it will cost to maintain a standard of living above the poverty line and within income ceilings and limits. Payouts can be over $2,000 per month depending on your area of the country and your past earnings history.
In addition to monthly benefits you may also qualify for back pay depending on how much time passed between the date of your application and the date you were approved for disability benefits.