Substantial Gainful Activity - SGA

Definition of 'Substantial Gainful Activity - SGA'


The threshold prescribed by the Social Security Administration (SSA) for determining eligibility for Social Security benefits. Substantial gainful activity (SGA) is a specified dollar amount. It is updated each year to reflect inflation, and it represents the minimum level of employability which will render a person productive and, therefore, ineligible for Social Security benefits. The SSA employs higher threshold levels of SGA for persons with specific disabilities, such as blindness.

Investopedia explains 'Substantial Gainful Activity - SGA'


For the year 2006, the SSA has set the SGA amount for individuals at $860 per month. This means that any individual who is able to engage in employment earning more than $860 per month will be ineligible for benefits. For blind persons, a higher SGA amount of $1,450 was set for 2006.

Once the SSA approves disability benefits for a given citizen, it allows that person to continue to receive benefits for a brief period even if he or she is successfully able to re-enter the workforce and earn more than the SGA amount each month. This is intended to provide an incentive for disabled people to seek gainful employment and re-enter the workforce in a different capacity for the long term.


Filed Under:

comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. XW

    A symbol used to signify that a security is trading ex-warrant. XW is one of many alphabetic qualifiers that act as a shorthand to tell investors key information about a specific security in a stock quote. These qualifiers should not be confused with ticker symbols, some of which, like qualifiers, are just one or two letters.
  2. Quanto Swap

    A swap with varying combinations of interest rate, currency and equity swap features, where payments are based on the movement of two different countries' interest rates. This is also referred to as a differential or "diff" swap.
  3. Genuine Progress Indicator - GPI

    A metric used to measure the economic growth of a country. It is often considered as a replacement to the more well known gross domestic product (GDP) economic indicator. The GPI indicator takes everything the GDP uses into account, but also adds other figures that represent the cost of the negative effects related to economic activity (such as the cost of crime, cost of ozone depletion and cost of resource depletion, among others).
  4. Accelerated Share Repurchase - ASR

    A specific method by which corporations can repurchase outstanding shares of their stock. The accelerated share repurchase (ASR) is usually accomplished by the corporation purchasing shares of its stock from an investment bank. The investment bank borrows the shares from clients or share lenders and sells them to the company.
  5. Microeconomic Pricing Model

    A model of the way prices are set within a market for a given good. According to this model, prices are set based on the balance of supply and demand in the market. In general, profit incentives are said to resemble an "invisible hand" that guides competing participants to an equilibrium price. The demand curve in this model is determined by consumers attempting to maximize their utility, given their budget.
  6. Centralized Market

    A financial market structure that consists of having all orders routed to one central exchange with no other competing market. The quoted prices of the various securities listed on the exchange represent the only price that is available to investors seeking to buy or sell the specific asset.
Trading Center