The term “substantial gainful activity” (SGA) is used to describe a level of work activity and earnings. Work is “substantial” if it involves doing significant physical or mental activities or a combination of both.
“Gainful” work activity is:
- 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.
We use SGA as one of the factors to decide if you are eligible for disability benefits. If you earn more than a certain amount and are doing productive work, we generally consider that you are engaging in substantial gainful activity.
For more information on SGA, see The Red Book.