Substantial gainful activity – An overview

On Behalf of | Aug 6, 2021 | SSDI

Aside from the physical and emotional toll taken by disabling injuries or illnesses, those with incapacitating conditions may worry about financially supporting themselves and their families. Through the Social Security Administration, however, they may access Social Security Disability Insurance. While SSDI benefits may provide helpful financial assistance, only those applicants who cannot engage in work-related activities may receive them.

Understanding substantial gainful activity may help those dealing with disabilities determine their eligibility for SSDI benefits.

Defining substantial gainful activity

According to the SSA Red Book, substantial gainful activity refers to a specific level of work-related activity and earnings. The agency uses this level as a marker to help decide benefit applicants’ eligibility for SSDI benefits. Social Security also uses substantial gainful activity to help determine if recipients should continue receiving benefits.

The agency defines gainful work as work-related activities performed for profit or pay, activities typically performed for profit or pay, or work-related activities meant to generate profit.

Evaluating work activity

To determine substantial gainful activity, Social Security looks at the work-related activities people perform and their average monthly earnings. According to the SSA, those seeking SSDI benefits cannot perform such activities and earn more than $1,310 per month for 2021. Blind applicants may earn up to $2,190 per month for 2021. Should applicants earn more than the monthly substantial gainful activity amount, it may affect their ability to receive benefits.

Dealing with a disabling injury or illness may bring wide-ranging challenges for people and their families. However, SSD benefits may provide some much-needed support, so they may focus on their health and moving forward.