New Jersey residents who are injured or ill to the degree that they need Social Security disability benefits but are still working should understand substantial gainful activity (SGA) in multiple ways. When the person is still earning money by working, the SGA will be important in their case as it can impact their claim. Understanding the importance of earnings and how it will affect the benefits’ requirements is key to a case.

When a person claims to be disabled and is working, the amount earned can be used to establish that he or she can do SGA. If the earnings are sufficiently low or there are none in the time-period in which the person is working, it does not establish that the person cannot perform SGA. The circumstances where the work is done will be factored in. For a person who is forced to stop working due to the impairment after a time-frame that is labeled as “short” (fewer than six months), the earnings will not automatically be classified as the person being able to perform SGA.

Some people work in what is known as a sheltered establishment. These are special conditions in which the earnings linked to the person’s efforts are accounted for with SGA. If the person gets subsidies due to financial necessity and other work factors, these will not be considered. If the sheltered workplace gets aid from government sources or charity or is at a financial deficit will not be factored in either. If the person needs to receive items due to the impairment like medical devices, equipment and the like and he or she pays for it, it is deductible from the earnings.

Earnings criteria for SGA are changed annually and this will be important when the assessment is made. SGA is critical when seeking benefits for an injury, condition or illness. Knowing about the earnings requirements and how it can help or hinder a case is a foundational aspect of any claim. A law firm that helps people with their Social Security disability claims can be of vital assistance in a case and should be called as soon as possible.