Substantial Gainful Activity - SGA

AAA

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.

BREAKING DOWN '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.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Inflation

    The rate at which the general level of prices for goods and services ...
  2. Business Activities

    Any activity that is engaged in for the primary purpose of making ...
  3. Social Security Number - SSN

    A nine-digit number assigned to citizens, some temporary residents ...
  4. Social Security

    A United States federal program of social insurance and benefits ...
  5. Medicare

    A U.S. federal health program that subsidizes people who meet ...
  6. Medicaid

    A joint federal and state program that helps low-income individuals ...
Related Articles
  1. Retirement

    Building An Emergency Fund

    Do you have enough savings to cover the costs of unforeseen crises? We show you how to plan ahead.
  2. Options & Futures

    Choosing The Best Disability Insurance

    Social Security benefits can be hard to collect. Find out why you need disability insurance to protect your income, and learn how to choose the right policy for you.
  3. Professionals

    Social Security 'Start, Stop, Start' Explained

    The start, stop, start Social Security strategy is complicated. Here's what retirees considering it need to consider.
  4. Professionals

    Top Social Security Issues for Divorced Women

    What female divorcees need to know about the twists and turns of figuring out Social Security benefits.
  5. Professionals

    Top Retirement Prep Questions to Ask Clients

    Is your client really ready for retirement? Here are some essential questions to ask.
  6. Economics

    The Economics of Raising the Social Security Age

    Briefly examine the economics behind raising the retirement age for Social Security benefits and how it could impact the federal budget.
  7. Retirement

    Top Tips for Minimizing Taxes on Social Security

    Social Security benefits are taxable under certain circumstances. Here are some ways retirees can lessen the tax burden.
  8. Professionals

    Advisors: Tap Peers for 'Second Opinions'

    When it comes to knowledge, more is better. And everybody wins when advisors seek second or third opinions for their clients from colleagues and peers.
  9. Taxes

    Employers: Don't Forget IRS Form 941

    Your obligations as an employer include various employment taxes. Use this form to report them.
  10. Retirement

    These Are the Top Jobs for Retirees

    Learn some of the best jobs available for retirees who want to stay busy. These include retail, driving, call center work and tutoring.
RELATED FAQS
  1. Are all disabilities treated the same for Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) thresholds?

    Section 520 of the Social Security Act indicates that U.S. citizens are eligible to receive disability benefits if they are ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How does the Social Security Administration determine the Substantial Gainful Activity ...

    A disabled individual is eligible to receive disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) if he earns ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What is Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) and why is it important?

    Substantial gainful activity (SGA) is what the Social Security Administration (SSA) measures to determine work, income and ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How is Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) calculated for those who own their own ...

    Substantial gainful activity (SGA) is a key phrase used by the Social Security Administration (SSA) in relation to determining ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Are spousal Social Security benefits taxable?

    Your spousal Social Security benefits may be taxable, depending on your total household income for the year. About one-third ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Why would someone change their Social Security number?

    In general, the Social Security Administration, or SSA, does not encourage citizens to change their Social Security numbers, ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Dead Cat Bounce

    A temporary recovery from a prolonged decline or bear market, followed by the continuation of the downtrend. A dead cat bounce ...
  2. Bear Market

    A market condition in which the prices of securities are falling, and widespread pessimism causes the negative sentiment ...
  3. Alligator Spread

    An unprofitable spread that occurs as a result of large commissions charged on the transaction, regardless of favorable market ...
  4. Tiger Cub Economies

    The four Southeast Asian economies of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand. Tiger cub economy indicates that ...
  5. Gorilla

    A company that dominates an industry without having a complete monopoly. A gorilla firm has large control of the pricing ...
  6. Elephants

    Slang for large institutions that have the funds to make high volumes trades. Due to the large volumes of stock that elephants ...
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!