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Step 1:
Work Status

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Work Activity

  • The First Step. The Social Security Administration (SSA) looks at your work activity and whether you are currently performing substantial gainful activity. If the SSA finds that you are, then you will be found to be not disabled.

  • To be eligible for disability benefits the individual must be unable to engage in what we call Substantial Gainful Activity or (SGA) for short. This means that if you can earn a certain SGA amount then you will not be found disabled regardless of your condition. The amount changes every year, and it makes a difference if the individual is blind or non-blind. As of 2021 the current amount for non-blind individuals is $1,310 and for blind individuals $2,190.

My Current Work Status

  • Because the Social Security Administration puts such importance on one’s ability or inability to work, one of the initial questions that must be asked is are you currently working? Your answer will affect whether you are entitled to disability benefits or not. ​​​

  • No, I am not currently working: Then you move to the next step of eligibility.

  • Yes, I am currently working: Then you are not seen as “disabled” under the Social Security Disability definitions if you are making more then SGA.

  • Yes, I am working but making less than $1,310 per/month gross as a non-blind individual. Then you move onto the next step of eligibility.

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