Ability To Engage In Substantial Gainful Activity

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are designed to provide financial support for individuals whose injuries prevent them from working. If you can work and make a certain minimum income set for each calendar year by Social Security, you are said to be capable of performing substantial gainful activity (SGA).

In order to receive disability benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) requires that an applicant be unable to perform SGA. In determining SGA, the SSA does not include nonwork income such as interest, inheritance or gifts.

SGA for blind applicants applies to Social Security disability benefits, but does not apply to SSI benefits . SGA for the disabled who are not blind applies to Social Security and SSI benefits.

Making Sense Of The SGA Threshold

If you earn more than $1,070 per month in 2014, your disability claim most likely will be denied without even reviewing your medical record because you are ineligible for benefits based on nonmedical criteria. The exception is any individual who earned more than the SGA threshold as a result of working under "special circumstances." Examples of special circumstances include:

  • Special assistance from co-workers to complete the work
  • Provided special equipment or assigned work especially suited to your impairment
  • Given the opportunity to work due to a family relationship, past association with the employer or the employer's concern for the claimant's welfare
  • Afforded a lower standard of productivity or efficiency than other employees

Contact A Knowledgeable New Jersey SSDI/SSI Lawyer

SGA rules are complex. There may be ways to work around the SGA threshold if it is negatively impacting your approval for Social Security benefits. I can review your situation during a free, no-obligation consultation and recommend the best steps to take. Contact me to schedule an appointment.