Legalese Defined: Social Security Disability– Substantial Gainful Activity

In social security disability cases, substantial gainful activity means that you are working and earning more than a certain amount of money, which is set by law and changes each year.  If the Social Security Administration finds that you are able to engage in substantial gainful activity, then your application will be denied.

If you are working full-time it is highly likely the Social Security Administration will find that you are engaged in substantial gainful activity, which means your application would likely be denied.  If you are working part time and earning less than the amount set by law (in 2013 that amount was $1,040, unless you were blind, in which case the amount is $1,740), then you may still be eligible.  Please note, however, that the fact that you are working and earning less than the monthly allowable amount does not necessarily mean that you aren’t engaged in a substantial gainful activity.  If the reason you are earning less money is not because of your inability to work but rather something special about that job (such as limited hours), then you may still be engaged in substantial gainful activity and not eligible for benefits.

If you would like more information regarding Social Security Disability visit our website to read our common SSD questions or contact us.

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