Comparing SGA Limits in 2023 and 2024: What’s Different?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a measurement called Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) to determine eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.

This limit essentially represents the maximum amount of money you can earn per month and still qualify for disability payments. An increase in the SGA limit for 2024 offers some good news for people with disabilities who want to work and maintain some level of financial independence.

Understanding SGA: The Threshold for Disability Benefits

SGA stands for “Substantial Gainful Activity.” It’s a way for the SSA to gauge whether your work activity demonstrates the ability to engage in full-time work, despite your disability. If your monthly earnings exceed the SGA limit, it suggests you might be capable of substantial work and therefore ineligible for benefits.

Important Links
1. Which Companies Are in the Financial Services Sector in the United States
2. Biggest Companies Across the Globe
3Canada Child Benefit Payment Increase Dates for 2024: Stay Informed about CRA Payments
4$600 Cost of Living Payment for Low-Income Senior Citizens in Alberta

Here’s a breakdown of how SGA works:

  • The SSA considers your monthly earnings: This includes gross income from all sources, such as wages, salary, self-employment income, and even royalties.
  • SGA limits are adjusted annually: These adjustments typically reflect changes in the national average wage index.
  • Separate limits exist for blind individuals: The SSA acknowledges the unique challenges faced by blind individuals in the workforce and sets a higher SGA limit for them.

SGA in 2023: The Previous Limit

For the year 2023, the SGA limit for non-blind individuals was set at $1,470 per month. This meant that if your monthly earnings surpassed this amount, you might jeopardize your eligibility for disability benefits.

SGA in 2024: A Modest Increase

Comparing SGA Limits in 2023 and 2024: What's Different?

The good news for 2024 is a slight increase in the SGA limit. This aligns with the annual adjustments made to reflect cost-of-living changes. Here’s a breakdown of the new limits:

  • Non-blind individuals: The SGA limit for 2024 is now $1,550 per month. This provides a bit more flexibility for people with disabilities to earn income without losing their benefits.
  • Blind individuals: The SGA limit for blind individuals remains higher than for non-blind individuals. For 2024, it stands at $2,590 per month.

What the SGA Increase Means for You

The increase in the SGA limit for 2024 presents several positive implications for individuals with disabilities:

  • Greater Opportunity to Work: With the higher limit, you now have more leeway to explore part-time work or even full-time work with lower wages without risking your benefits. This can be a great way to supplement your income, build work experience, and potentially transition back into the workforce.
  • Easier to Maintain Eligibility: If you’re currently receiving disability benefits and your earnings fall below the new $1,550 per month limit, you can rest assured that your benefits won’t be impacted. This offers greater financial security and peace of mind.

Important Reminders: Rules Still Apply

While the increased SGA limit offers more flexibility, it’s crucial to remember that the SSA still has specific rules regarding work activity and disability benefits. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Accurate Income Reporting: It’s essential to accurately report all your income sources to the SSA. This ensures they have a complete picture of your financial situation when assessing your eligibility for benefits.
  • SGA Doesn’t Consider All Factors: The SGA limit is just one factor used by the SSA. They also consider the nature of your work, its impact on your disability, and whether you need special accommodations to perform the job.
  • Benefits Can Still Be Affected: If your earnings consistently exceed the SGA limit, even for short periods, it could impact your benefits. In such cases, it’s best to consult with the SSA or a disability lawyer to understand the potential consequences.
Important Links
1. Simple Ways to Successfully Complete a Continuing Disability Review
2. How to Tell If Social Security Is Investigating You
3Tips for Winning a Bipolar Disability Case
4. Looking for a Disability Doctor’s Letter?

Finding Help: Disability Lawyers in Greensboro, NC

Navigating the complexities of disability benefits, especially with changes like the SGA limit adjustments, can be challenging. If you’re considering applying for benefits or have concerns about your current eligibility, seeking help from a qualified disability lawyer can be highly beneficial. Here’s why consulting a disability lawyer might be a good idea:

  • Higher Approval Rates: Studies have shown that individuals who work with disability lawyers often have higher approval rates for their claims compared to those who apply independently.
  • Specialized Knowledge: Disability lawyers possess in-depth knowledge of the Social Security disability application process and the relevant regulations, including SGA limits.
  • Guidance Throughout the Process: Not all disability lawyers handle every stage of the process.

Leave a Comment