Among other requirements, applicants must have medical conditions that meet certain criteria in order to qualify for disability benefits, explains the Social Security Administration. In addition, applicants should have been previously employed in jobs covered by Social Security.
Individuals with partial or short-term disability do not fit the criteria used to define permanent disability and are thus ineligible for benefits, reports the Social Security Administration. To qualify, individuals must have a disability likely to last for at least a year or a medical condition that is potentially fatal. Individuals with disabilities that keep them from working as they previously did and that also stop them from adjusting to other types of work may be eligible for disability benefits.
Benefits for disabled children cease when they become 18 years old, according to the Social Security Administration. To continue receiving benefits on the basis of a parent's earning record after this age, disabled children are required to meet the same eligibility criteria as adults. In addition, the impairment triggering the disability benefits must have started before they were 22 years old, and they must be unmarried. Such disability benefits may continue if the child's parent starts receiving disability or retirement benefits or become deceased.
To qualify for disability benefits, individuals should have the required number of work credits, explains the Social Security Administration. The number of these credits is based on an individual's yearly income.