Substantial Gainful Activity
Substantial Gainful Activity, or SGA, is a term used to determine whether an individual meets the first step of the disability analysis. In short, if you are currently working and applying for disability, you can only make up to a certain amount of money until the Social Security Administration determines that your work is substantial and therefore you would be ineligible to receive disability benefits.
The Social Security Act provides a higher amount for statutorily blind individuals. SGA is often determined based on the monthly amount of income that you receive from employment.
- In 2018, SGA for non-blind individuals - $1,180.00 per month, and for blind individuals $1,970.00 per month.
- In 2019, SGA for non-blind individuals - $1,220.00 per month, and for blind individuals $2,040.00 per month.
- In 2020, SGA for non-blind individuals - $1,260.00 per month, and for blind individuals $2,110.00 per month.
Each year the amount of SGA rises for a cost of living increase.
So, if your monthly income is above the SGA amount, then you are participating in substantial gainful activity and will be denied disability benefits. If your monthly income is below the SGA amount then you are not participating in substantial gainful activity, and will proceed to the Social Security Administration's next step in determining disability.