What is SGA? Can I work a little bit and file for benefits?

Trying to get on disability benefits while working creates a complicated situation with Social Security, and each case is very different.

Person holding money out

SGA stands for Substantial Gainful Activity. It is set at $1170.00 gross per month in 2017 and will be $1180.00 gross per month in 2018 (and that includes months with 5 weeks/paydays)

If you make more than that amount through work, month after month (not from stocks or dividends) SSA does not consider you disabled.

To SSA a disabled person can’t work at all or can only work very little (under SGA)

-If you are working making over $1180 per month and you file for disability, SSA won’t even look at your medical records - they will deny you almost instantly.

-If you are working making less than but close to $1180 per month SSA will look at your medical records but they are often more inclined to deny you for being so close to their limit.

-If you are working and making MUCH less than $1180 per month SSA is more likely to find you disabled.

This is just a basic summary of course and for more detailed analysis of your individual situation feel free to call or text Keefe Disability Law at 1-800-776-2929, anytime.

John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney, Massachusetts Social Security Disability Lawyer
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