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Ohio SSD and “substantial and gainful activity”

Ohioans considering applying for Social Security Disability (SSD) often spend a lot of time considering how they are going to get their medical records organized to have the best chance to be approved for a claim involving physical disability. While this is certainly an important part of the process, there is another parameter that those applying for SSD may overlook.

The Social Security Administration (SSA), before it even gets to the phase of determining what disability you have, or how disabling that condition is for you, has another standard that it looks at. This is the concept of “Substantial and Gainful Activity” (SGA). You see, to qualify for any benefits at all, your disability must prevent you from performing any SGA. The SSA will look to your monthly income from any employment, and determine if it falls below the SGA threshold. This will occur before your file even gets sent to someone to make a determination on your type of disability, your “Residual Functional Capacity” or any of the other factors this blog has previously touched upon.

If you are earning more than what the SSA considers to be the threshold for SGA, you will likely receive what is known as a “technical denial.” This means that your gross monthly income, that is, the amount you earn before taxes are deducted, is high enough to be considered substantial and gainful activity. While this amount is variable, for 2014 it is around $1,070 per month.

If you have questions about substantial gainful activity, a technical denial or any other aspect of your SSD claim, it may be a good idea to consider consulting an experienced Ohio disability attorney. Legal professionals, like these, have dealt with hundreds of claims and may be able to help you determine if your inability to work qualifies you for benefits under the program.

Source: SSDRC.com, “What is SGA (Substantial Gainful Activity) and how does it affect Social Security Disability and SSI Eligibility?,” accessed on Nov. 18, 2014