How is Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) determined?
To be eligible for disability benefits, a person must be unable to engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA). A person who is earning more than a certain monthly amount (net of impairment-related work expenses) is ordinarily considered to be engaging in SGA. The amount of monthly earnings considered as SGA depends on the nature of a person’s disability. The Social Security Act specifies a higher SGA amount for statutorily blind individuals; Federal regulations specify a lower SGA amount for non-blind individuals. Both SGA amounts generally change with changes in the national average wage index. In 2011, SGA is $1,000 for non-blind individuals and $1,640 for blind individuals.
Amounts for 2012
The monthly SGA amount for statutorily blind individuals for 2012 is $1690. For non-blind individuals, the monthly SGA amount for 2012 is $1010. SGA for the blind does not apply to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, while SGA for the non-blind disabled applies to Social Security and SSI benefits.
Trial work period
After a person becomes eligible for disability benefits, the person may attempt to return to the work force. As an incentive, SSA provides a trial work period in which a beneficiary may have earnings and still collect benefits.
Call us for help on your Social Security Disability/SSI case. 1-800-255-4134.