Detroit Personal Injury Lawyers Fighting For The Injured

What Does “Substantial Gainful Activity” Mean in a Social Security Disability Case?

The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits program was created for the purpose of supplying people with disabilities — whether temporary or permanent — with a source of income while they are unable to work.

In order to qualify for the reception of SSDI benefits, an individual has to meet certain eligibility requirements. At the baseline, applicants must meet the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) definition of disabled (which evaluates the severity of your condition and its effect on your ability to work) and must have worked, before injury, for a sufficient amount of time. The SSA bases their employment requirements on a system of previous work credits, and on an individual’s inability to participate in “substantial gainful activity.”

Substantial gainful activity, which is sometimes abbreviated as SGA, is the SSA’s definition of income amounts that a person must be unable to achieve in order to receive SSDI benefits. Basically, a person has to be under a certain threshold of ability to earn income to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance.

For example, the current substantial gainful activity threshold is $1,220. This means that a person who is able to earn more than $1,220 in a month, even if they are injured, is engaging in substantial gainful activity. Someone who earns more than $1,220 in a month would not qualify for SSDI benefits.

There are different qualifications for people who are blind. The $1,220 threshold applies only to people who are not blind. People who are blind are subject to an SGA threshold of $2,040, meaning they must earn less than that amount in a month to financially qualify for the SSDI benefit program.

The Goodman Acker P.C. legal team is available to speak about your SSDI claim. Schedule a free consultation with our lawyers to discuss your questions related to the Social Security Disability Insurance benefits program.

To schedule a no-cost evaluation of your case, send us a message or call us at (248) 793-2010.