Substantial Gainful Activity Disability

What is Substantial Gainful Activity?

Learn how substantial gainful activity affects your Social Security Disability application.

Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) is one of the main criteria by which the Social Security Administration determines whether or not you’re actually disabled. SGA is actually tied to a specific dollar amount. Currently, that dollar amount is $1,000 per month. If you cannot engage in activity that can earn you at least $1,000 per month, then your application for disability might be approved.

One of the characteristics of this measure of eligibility for disability benefits is the fact that earning over the SGA amount automatically disqualifies you from being able to receive benefits. Earning less than the SGA amount, however, does not automatically qualify you to receive benefits. It is one factor among many that is used to determine whether or not the Social Security Administration will pay benefits to you. The figure is adjusted for inflation.

Because Social Security benefits are designed to assist individuals who are completely incapable of making their own way, the administration is concerned with the severity of your condition above all other things. If your condition is so severe that you cannot meet the SGA requirement, this is a mark in your favor as far as receiving benefits is concerned.

Remember that there are other criteria involved, as well. For example, in order to receive benefits you also have to have a condition that can be documented by a doctor, that is accepted as being a real condition and that can be demonstrated to restrict your abilities in specific ways. The ways in which it restricts you must directly impact your ability to obtain gainful employment. Gainful employment is influenced, as far as benefits are concerned, by your work history. If you simply cannot get work and cannot train to get work other than in the field in which you were working before you came disabled, your application has a better chance of being approved. If you feel that your claim is not being treated as a legitimate disability by Social Security, contact aDupage County Social Security Lawyer.