Welcome! This site is written for Social Security disability claimants, for their legal representatives, and for the network of people involved in the Social Security disability claim process. I hope you find it helpful.
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Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) is the amount of money you can earn through wages and still be eligible for Social Security disability benefits. The SGA amount is important for two classes of people:

A person applying for disability benefits must have (or be expected to have) a period of 12 consecutive months with wages below

I frequently talk, or trade emails, with people who are thinking about applying for Social Security disability but are still working (and earning more than the SGA amount of $1,000 per month).

Sometimes people are surprised that they cannot still work and apply for disability benefits. Sometimes they want to discuss the likelihood of success for

 

A reader of this site had this question: should i still appeal my ssdi denial if i did not meet the sga requirement?

The answer is: probably not, but maybe yes. Let's take a look at each part of the answer.

Probably not: If you are working above the level of substantial gainful activity (SGA)

This reader question regarding Social Security disability arrived by email today:

I am in the process of gathering info so I can decide if I should apply for disability.  It appears that the first criteria to meet is to not be working.  I am working and it is very, very difficult.  Will I need to

A real life example of an unsuccessful work attempt may help to illustrate why this topic is so important. This example is one of my cases that is currently pending in Maine at the Reconsideration level.

This claim has an alleged onset date of 10/20/2006. However, from 5/18/2007 – 9/18/2007 this claimant returned to work

If you have worked at the SGA level at any time since the alleged onset date of your Social Security disability claim, it can be problematic for your claim. You must have a 12 month period of disability (or a condition which is expected to result in death) to qualify for Social Security disability. That