A person is eligible for disability benefits if he has a medical condition that meets Social Security's definition of disability and has previously worked in jobs covered by Social Security. Applicants must be unable to work for a year due to the disability, states the Social Security Administration.
To qualify for disability benefits, individuals must prove their eligibility through objective medical evidence and logical arguments based on Social Security's administrative requirements, according to the Social Security Disability Resource Center. The SSA maintains a list of medical conditions that entitle individuals to disability benefits. These include musculoskeletal conditions, cardiovascular disorders, respiratory impairments, neurological conditions and multiple body system conditions. Claimants must prove the presence of these conditions and the subsequent functional limitations that prevent them from engaging in work activities.
To become eligible for disability benefits, an individual must have worked in formal jobs covered by Social Security before acquiring a permanent disability. A person must prove that he was unable to work for a year or more due to the disability, according to the SSA. Additionally, the person must prove that the medical impairment suffered is severe and interferes with the ability to engage in current and potential work activities.