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Substantial Gainful Activity Defined

In order to be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, you must not be engaging in substantial gainful activity, or SGA. If you haven’t worked at all since becoming disabled, SGA does not apply to your situation. If you have worked since becoming disabled or currently are working, you need to have a firm grasp about what SGA is and how it can affect your SSD case. Disabled people in Orlando, Boca Raton and other parts of Florida routinely have their claims denied because they are found to be engaging in SGA.

What is SGA?

Substantial gainful activity, or SGA, essentially refers to working and earning money. That isn’t to say that you can’t earn money at all in order to qualify for SSD. Fortunately, the SSA makes it easy to figure out whether you are engaging in SGA or not. Each year, the agency publishes income limits for blind and non-blind individuals. As long as your earnings fall below the relevant threshold, you are not considered to be engaging in SGA. For 2012, the SGA amount for non-blind individuals is $1,010. The SGA amount for blind individuals is $1,690.

Why is SGA important?

If you are determined to be engaging in SGA based on the criteria that is used by the Social Security Administration, you will not qualify as being disabled. In turn, you will be denied SSD benefits. It is important to do everything you can to ensure that your case moves through the SSD benefits process smoothly. Before applying for Social Security Disability benefits, you should retain a competent and experienced attorney. Whether or not you are engaging in SGA is just one of the many factors the administration considers. Your claim may still be denied for other reasons, but you can reduce the odds of a second denial by having the right lawyer by your side.

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