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What are the stipulations of substantial gainful activity?

Even with a genuine need, qualifying for government benefits is not easy. Individuals hoping to qualify often have a difficult time proving their qualifications for Social Security Disability Insurance and gaining those benefits. In regard to the qualifications, individuals trying to receive SSDI benefits must not be able to perform substantial gainful activity. 

Because a major stipulation for obtaining SSDI benefits is that a person cannot work, the Social Security Administration looks closely at substantial gainful activity. When it comes to the substantial aspect of SGA, the person must perform activities that have significant physical or mental elements involved. While it can mean one or the other in terms of physical or mental, it can also mean both. It is also important to note that the activity does not have to be full-time work. 

In regard to the gainful aspects of SGA, the stipulations include: 

  • Work that is generally carried out for compensation or profit 
  • Work that has the intention of gaining a profit, whether the profit comes about or not 
  • Work that is carried out for pay or profit 

If the earnings of these activities generate an average monthly income that exceeds $1,310, the SSA will consider it substantial gainful activity. As a result, a person receiving SSDI benefits could lose those benefits, or a person applying for benefits could be denied. Of course, SGA stipulations are not always as straightforward as they seem, so if individuals have questions about this qualification, they may want to discuss the matter with experienced attorneys. 

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