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People who have applied for Social Security disability benefits as well as those currently receiving benefits may work—up to a certain limit. It can be beneficial financially and psychologically for people to work and earn money, even if it only amounts to a few hours of work a day or a couple hundred dollars a month.

And the Social Security Administration Allows It—Up to a Certain Point

That point is known as the point of substantial gainful activity (SGA). Very generally, substantial gainful activity is just a fancy way to say the word “work.” If you are unable to work at all, or if you are not able to work enough to earn a substantial amount of income, you are eligible for disability benefits. Taking a closer look, the Social Security Administration defines SGA as:

  • Work that involves significant and productive duties, and
  • Work that results in a certain monthly income.

The specific amount that you can earn changes regularly according to the national average wage index. In 2016, substantial gainful activity is a monthly income of $1130 for non-blind Social Security disability recipients and $1820 for blind Social Security disability recipients.

Social Security disability recipients who earn the SGA amount or more may no longer be considered disabled under the Social Security Administration rules. It is important to note that if you are performing services that the SSA values at the SGA amount or more, you may be disqualified from receiving benefits even if you do not receive wages for your work.

What If You’re Not Sure If You Can Go Back to Work Successfully?

If you would like to return to Substantial Gainful Activity after a disability but you are unsure if you will be able to support yourself, you may take advantage of the SSA’s trial work period.

Going back to work after being on Social Security disability can be confusing. If you have questions about your eligibility for Social Security disability benefits or about how substantial gainful activity could affect your disability payments, you may wish to speak to an experienced lawyer. The Social Security disability lawyers at Morgan & Weisbrod offer free, private consultations. Call us today to learn more.

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From offices in Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston, the Social Security Disability Claims attorneys of Morgan & Weisbrod, LLP help disabled people throughout Texas receive the disability benefits they deserve. Cities we serve include Tyler, Longview, Austin, El Paso, Lubbock, San Antonio, Waco, Amarillo, Bryan, College Station, Angleton, Galveston, Sugar Land, Beaumont, Arlington, Irving, Denton, McKinney, Plano, Carrollton, Amarillo, Corpus Christi, Brownsville, and Abilene.

Morgan & Weisbrod LLP

by Paul B. Burkhalter
Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.


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