The Social Security Administration (SSA) holds several strict requirements when it comes to eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. One of these strict requirements is that an applicant must not be participating in any substantial gainful activity. Continue reading to learn what is considered substantial gainful activity and how an experienced New Jersey SSDI attorney at The Law Offices of Sheryl Gandel Mazur can help evaluate your earning capacity.

What does the SSA consider to be substantial gainful activity?

Simply put, the SSA uses the term “substantial gainful activity” to measure a level of work activity and earnings that may make an applicant ineligible for SSDI benefits. With that being said, an applicant’s work activity and earnings are considered to be substantial if the following circumstances apply:

  • An applicant’s work involves performing significant physical or mental activities, or a combination of both.
  • An applicant’s work activities are performed for pay or profit.
  • An applicant’s work activities are of a nature that is generally performed for pay or profit.
  • An applicant’s work activities are performed with the intention of pay or profit, even if profit is not realized.

More specifically, in 2023, the SSA views an applicant’s work earnings of more than $1,470 per month as substantial gainful activity. And if an applicant is blind, this amount is $2,460 per month. With these earnings, the SSA may hold that an applicant’s medical condition is not serious enough to prevent them from doing more than an insubstantial amount of work for at least 12 months.

Is it possible to receive earnings alongside SSDI benefits?

While receiving your SSDI benefits, you may find yourself at a crossroads. Say, for instance, that you are slowly but surely healing from your medical condition and you are interested in returning to the workforce. But at the same time, say that you are hesitant that your work activity or earnings are going to be too insubstantial and that you are going to lose your SSDI benefits in the process. This is where the SSA’s trial work period comes into play.

Of note, the trial work period allows you to work and get SSDI benefits at the same time, regardless of how much pay or profit you are earning. And if your trial work period confirms that you are ready to reenter the workplace, then the extended period of eligibility comes into play. This allows you to work and get SSDI benefits for every month that your countable earnings are less than or equal to the SSA’s substantial gainful activity level (i.e., $1,470 or $2,460 worth of earnings in a month).

Regardless of what your specific circumstances may be, you must not second guess your instinct to retain the services of a skilled New Jersey SSDI attorney from The Law Offices of Sheryl Gandel Mazur. Schedule your free initial consultation with our law firm today.