To be considered disabled for purpses of receiving Social Security Disability one must not be able to do any kind of substantial gainful activity for a continuous period of at least one year, or as an impairment that may result in death. The disability must be medically determinable. In other words there must be a medical basis either physically or mentally for the condition.
The Social Security Administration will consider your age, education, and work history along with your medical condition. For example, a 57 year old hard laborer who has degenerative disc disease along with rheumatoid arthritis that prevents him from doing the type work that he has always done in the past but is still capable of doing light work will likely be considered disabled because of his age, and lack of experience in other fields of work. In contrast, a 35 year old banker with an MBA from The Ohio State University that has a slight onset of fibromyalgia would find it much harder to fall within the SSA’s definition of disabled.