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Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) is the amount of money that one can earn and still qualify for Social Security disability benefits. The amount is adjusted each year for inflation, as shown by this table. In 2023, the amount is $1,470. For 2024, the SGA amount goes up to $1,550.

The SGA amount is important for two groups of people:

  • A person applying for disability benefits must have (or be expected to have) a period of 12 consecutive months with wages below SGA (subject, of course, to the rules for unsuccessful work attempts and Impairment Related Work Expenses).
  • A person receiving Title II disability benefits can earn up to the SGA amount and still receive benefits (be sure to also take a look at the trial work rules).

For those receiving TItle II benefits and working part-time, it is your responsibility to keep track of your monthly earnings and make sure they remain below the level of SGA. And remember, SGA is based on gross pay, before payroll taxes are withheld.