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Determining Substantial Gainful Activity for a Self-Employed Person for Purposes of Social Security Disability Benefits

  • Published: July 24, 2012

If you are self-employed and filing for Social Security disability benefits, your Ocala disability attorney will consider your case in terms of the three tests used by the Social Security Administration to determine whether you are engaging in substantial gainful activity (SGA).

Determining Substantial Gainful Activity by Significant Services and Substantial Income

If during the regular course of your work you provide significant services and earn a higher income than the Administration’s SGA guidelines, it may be determined that you are engaging in SGA and your claim will be denied. The SGA Earnings Guidelines for the self-employed are the same as those used for those who work for other people.

With regard to services, the Social Security Administration may consider your services to be significant even if you work very few hours during the month and your business is a solo operation. If your business is not a solo operation and you have one or more employees, the Administration may view you as rendering significant services if you contribute more than 50 percent or more than 45 hours per month of the total time required for the management of the business. This rule applies regardless of the number of necessary hours a month it takes to manage your business successfully.

Determining Substantial Gainful Activity by Comparability of Work

The Social Security Administration will assess your relevant work activities and compare them to those of unimpaired individuals engaged in the same or similar type of work. Relevant work activities considered during this test include:

  • Hours worked
  • Skills
  • Physical energy output
  • Mental energy output
  • Efficiency
  • Job duties
  • Responsibilities

Determining Substantial Gainful Activity by Worth of Work

In the Comparability of Work test, the Social Security Administration acknowledges that the work of an impaired individual is not comparable to that of an unimpaired individual. Therefore, the worth of your work is measure in this third test. When the Administration is determining the value of your work, it considers the following factors:

  • Your earnings compared to the SGA Earnings for a particular calendar year
  • Your work’s value to your business
  • Your earnings compared to the salary an owner would pay an employee to carry out the same duties

See an Ocala Social Security Lawyer if You are Self-Employed and Applying for Disability Benefits

If you are self-employed and would like assistance with your Social Security disability claim, contact a knowledgeable Ocala disability attorney at the CJ Henry Law Firm at 352.304.5300 or visit our website at www.cjhenrylaw.com for more information.

Claudeth Henry

Attorney Henry is a Florida disability lawyer Florida disability lawyer uniquely suited to help you
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