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How “substantial gainful activity” impacts CA SSD applications?

On Behalf of | Sep 16, 2015 | Social Security Disability Benefits

Any of our Los Angeles readers who are familiar with previous posts here probably already know that there are quite a few requirements that must be met before attaining Social Security Disability benefits. California applicants must prove that they have earned enough work credits, and that their disability is significant enough to keep that person out of work for at least a year.

However, what if an applicant is disabled, but is still able to earn a little bit of income through a small, part-time job? Well, that is when the term “substantial gainful activity” will likely come into play during the application process.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses the term, “substantial gainful activity,” to define an applicant’s level of work involvement. If an applicant is involved in work activities that require physical or mental exertion, or both, such activities could be considered substantial gainful activity, if the exertion is significant. In addition, if those efforts result in an income earned in an amount that exceeds a certain threshold, as set by the SSA, the SSA could make the determination that the applicant is engaged in substantial gainful activity. This determination means that the applicant is not qualified to receive Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.

There are a number of legal terms that could stump some people who are preparing to submit an application for SSD benefits. Los Angeles, California, residents who find themselves in this type of situation may find it useful to get more information about the terms and the application process.

Source:, “What is substantial gainful activity?,” accessed on Sept. 12, 2015

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