Substantial Gainful Activity: An Overview

Substantial gainful activity (SGA) is the threshold prescribed by the Social Security Administration (SSA) for determining whether a claimant is eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits. In evaluating SGA, the SSA considers the claimant’s wages and nature of medical impairment. If you are currently working and planning to file for Social Security disability benefits, you should first consult an Oklahoma City Social Security disability attorney to determine whether you are engaging in substantial gainful activity, which could prevent you from qualifying for disability benefits.

Oklahoma City Social Security disability attorney

What Is SGA?

The SSA defines SGA as the performance of significant physical and/or mental activities in work for pay or profit, or in work of a type generally performed for pay or profit, regardless of the legality of the work. If you are self-employed, the definition of SGA becomes a little harder to understand. The SSA will look more carefully at your job tasks and their value to your business, even if you are claiming loss. Your Oklahoma City Social Security disability attorney can provide you with more information.


More specifically, SGA is a specified dollar amount, updated each year to reflect inflation, representing the minimum level of employment that a disability claimant can engage in and still qualify for disability benefits. For 2013, the SSA has set the SGA limit at $1,040 for regular claimants and $1,640 for blind claimants. In other words, you can work and make up to $1,040 and still qualify to receive Social Security disability benefits.


The SSA’s SGA Determination


In making an SGA determination, the SSA may review the information regarding your employment provided by you and your Oklahoma City Social Security disability attorney. The administration may also refer your case to a medical determination regarding your ability to continue working given your medical limitations.


If the disability examiner does not have sufficient information, he or she may request additional information from you or your employer directly. One key piece of information disability examiners often look for is whether the claimant’s employer needed to provide extra support and supervision or special accommodations and arrangements in order for you to be gainfully employed.


Contact Us

For more information about substantial gainful activity, call (405) 330-1849 to schedule a complimentary consultation with Oklahoma City Social Security disability attorney Ramona Hanson.