Substantial Gainful Activity

Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) is one of the factors that will be used to determine your eligibility for disability benefits.

Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) is a term that is used by the Social Security Administration and Disability Determination Services (DDS) when referring to any work performed or intended for pay or profit by a person who is applying for disability benefits. The work must involve doing significant and productive physical or mental duties. When applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) is one of the factors that will be used to determine your eligibility for disability benefits. Basically, if you are earning income from employment that exceeds a certain amount, then you may not qualify for disability benefits.

In 2011, the amount of monthly earnings needed to be considered as SGA is $1,000 for non-blind people and $1,640 for statutorily blind individuals. This amount increases every year with increases in the national average wage index. SGA for the blind does not apply to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, while SGA for the non-blind applies to SSDI and SSI benefits.

If you have a disability that prevents you from earning more than the SGA amount, then you need to apply for Social Security Disability. Do not delay, apply as soon as possible.

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