What is definition of “disability” in getting benefits from Social Security?

The definition of disability is that you have a medical condition that is expected to go on for at least one year or a condition that will result in death which prevents you from performing substantial gainful activity. This is a strict federal definition which must be meet in order to be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits.  However, an individual can apply for benefits if they have been out of work for at least six (6) months and a doctor is indicating they will be out of work for at least one year.