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What to know about substantial gainful activity

The great benefit of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is that it helps disabled Georgia residents who cannot earn a substantial income due to their disability. However, some people who are disabled may still earn some working income, but the Social Security Administration (SSA) is careful about not letting your income level go too high if you are on disability. This is why you should know about what the SSA calls substantial gainful activity (SGA).

According to the Motley Fool, your SGA is the amount you make from your working income that the SSA deems too excessive for you to receive benefits. If your SGA is too high, the Social Security Administration will judge you to not be too disabled to receive a steady paycheck. Keep in mind that SGA is determined by your work income and not from earnings from different sources.

The SSA website points out that the exact amount that qualifies as excessive SGA changes according to the national average wage index. This means that the SGA can be different from year to year. Fortunately, the SSA website lists the SGA amount each year. For the year 2019, the SGA amount per month is $1,220. So someone who seeks to apply for disability benefits can check the website to make sure their income level does not render them unable to receive benefits.

Additionally, the Social Security Act requires a higher SGA for people considered to be statutorily blind. So if you suffer from blindness, the government is not going to consider you ineligible for SSDI unless you reach a higher income threshold. As of 2019, blind individuals can earn under $2,040 per month and still receive disability benefits.