The central inquiry underlying whether an individual is disabled is his or her capacity to engage in “Substantial Gainful Activity” (SGA). For the non-blind disabled, the concept of SGA applies to Social Security (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. SGA for blind individuals does not apply to SSI. Simply, if an individual is able to engage in SGA, he or she is not disabled. But of course, it’s not always such a simple determination.
A legal concept that simply inquires how much a worker is earning, the amount of monthly earnings that equals SGA is annually adjusted by Social Security. In 2017, this amount is $1,170 for non-blind individuals; $1,950 for blind individuals.
If a person is unable to engage in substantial gainful activity, eligibility for disability benefits is probable. On the contrary, if the person is earning more than a certain monthly threshold amount, the SSA will likely consider this to be SGA, and any application for disability benefits will be denied.
The amount of monthly earnings considered to be substantial gainful activity may depend on the nature of the disability. For example, federal law allows a higher amount of substantial gainful activity for individuals who are statutorily blind.
A qualified disability attorney provides a secondary source of contact on behalf of an applicant for disability benefits. The retention of an experienced disability attorney as an additional contact on behalf of an applicant for disability benefits is often more than wise. Even if a claimant cannot be reached by the SSA, a successful case may be developed by an individual who specializes in disability cases. An applicant only needs to call his or her attorney to provide and exchange necessary information with the attorney. Nothing could be easier. Contact Sullivan Law Office today. We offer free consultations, so you have absolutely nothing to lose! We look forward to hearing from you. Call 888-587-0228 or visit us online.