Government disability benefits include Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance. SSI provides benefits based on the financial situation of the applicant, while SSDI provides benefits based on previous work and duration of the disability.
Government disability benefits are only awarded for total disability, or disability that prevents the individual in question from pursuing previously performed work or precludes a reasonable expectation of retraining for a new line of work. Partial or temporary disability expected to last less than 12 months is expected to be covered by nongovernment financial resources, such as workman's comp or personal savings. There is a list of approved disabilities on the official Social Security Administration website that are automatically considered severe enough for consideration for total disability status.
SSDI does not provide benefits for applicants who have not earned enough Social Security credits in their lifetime through steady work. If an applicant has been disabled since before the age of 22, he may still be eligible for SSDI benefits as a disabled adult, depending on the work history of his parents.
Disability applicants are not denied the status of total disability for all income. Average monthly income under $1,090 is not considered automatic disqualification for disability benefits.