SGA is the term Social Security uses to describe a level of work activity and earnings. Work is “substantial” if it involves performing significant physical or mental activities or a combination of both. “Gainful” work activities denote work performed for pay or profit; or work of a nature generally performed for pay or profit; or work intended for profit, whether or not a profit is realized.
Social Security uses SGA as one of the factors to decide if a person is eligible for disability benefits. For persons receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, SGA is also used to determine continued eligibility for benefits after the person returns to work and completes the Trial Work Period. The amount of monthly earnings considered SGA depends on the nature of a person’s disability.