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What is substantial gainful activity?

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To qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, you cannot be able to perform substantial gainful activity.

The Social Security Administration defines SGA as your ability to earn a certain amount of money. The SSA sets a limit to represent SGA, which changes each year. It also is different for blind and non-blind applicants.

The SGA Limit

The SGA limit is how much money you can earn without the SSA considering that you are earning a substantial income. The SSA allows a higher limit for individuals who meet its definition of blind. For example, in 2023, the limit for blind applicants was $2,460, and for non-blind applicants was $1,470. If you make more than the SGA limit applicable to your situation, then you will not qualify for SSD benefits.

The Factors Of The SGA

You must apply all your income to the SGA. It does not matter if you earn money through full or part-time work. It all counts. It includes money you make through a business you own as well. If you make money doing it, then you must count it as income.

To qualify as blind, the SSA requires that your vision is 20/200 or less even with correction or a visual field with a diameter of no more than 20 degrees.

The SSA sets the SGA because of the very strict qualifying nature of SSD benefits. This program is only for people who have a disability that prevents them from earning a living. The government reserves it for the most extreme cases, which means the qualifications are very narrow. Having the SGA limit is just one part of the test.

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