Persons who become unable to engage in "substantial gainful employment" and who have paid into the Social Security system are entitled to Social Security Disability Benefits which include a monthly payment and Medicare coverage. Persons who have not paid into the system and who become disabled may still be entitled to monthly benefits under a welfare system called Supplemental Security Income.
The Social Security law and regulations determine disability by considering your age, your "past relevant work," and evidence you provide from medical personnel and others. In many cases, the combination of physical impairments with other non-physical impairments is what turns an initial denial of benefits into an award of benefits. You are entitled to a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge in an appeal of the initial claim. Ryan & Ryan has successfully handled hundreds of such claims leading up to and through hearings.