In order to qualify for SSDI, you will have initially have to have paid sufficient money into the system to make you insured under the Social Security system. That typically requires, in the 10 years before the onset of your disability, that you have five years of employment. That’s the first test for SSD. Then, you have to show that you are disabled under Social Security definitions; that is, that you cannot work or hold gainful employment in the national economy because of a mental or physical injury or impairment.
For SSI, you have to show, one, that you’re poor, – that you have less than $2,000 in assets if you’re an individual or less than $3,000 if you are a married person or in a recognized partnership relationship, and you also have to prove that you are unable to work because of a mental or physical disability.