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Substantial Gainful Activity in Social Security Disability

ssalogoA great post on Gordon Gates’ Social Security Disability Blog about the substantial gainful activity rate for 2010 reminded us that we have not covered this subject at all on our blog. So in our first post of the New Year we will do just that.

1. What is substantial gainful activity (SGA)?
Each year, a dollar amount is set by the Social Security Administration. This dollar amount is used as a monthly threshold of being active in gainful activity (making as much or more than threshold) or not being active in gainful activity (making less than the amount).

From the Social Security Administration website: To be eligible for disability benefits, a person must be unable to engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA). A person who is earning more than a certain monthly amount (net of impairment-related work expenses) is ordinarily considered to be engaging in SGA.

You can view historic SGA amount here.

2. Where does the SGA number come from?
The number is based off of a national average wage index.For a historic view of the national average wage index click here.

3. What is the SGA in 2010? What was it in 2009?
The SGA in 2010 will be $1,000 for non-blind persons. This is a $20 increase from 2009’s $980 SGA.

4. $1,000 for non-blind? Are there different SGA’s?
Yes, the Social Security Act specifies a higher SGA amount for statutorily blind individuals. The amount for 2010, which was the same as 2009 due to no cost of living increase in 2010, is $1640.

If you haven’t checked out Gordon Gates’ Social Security Disability Blog, it is a must read. It has lots of great information and he wraps up each week with some of the best Social Security Disability post from blogs around the nation.

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