What Does It Mean to Have Substantial Gainful Activity? Ask Our Tulsa Disability Lawyers

What is substantial gainful activity? In this video, listen to Tulsa Social Security disability attorney Steve Troutman describe the meaning of substantial gainful activity, how it relates to people filing for Social Security disability benefits and whether you can work while collecting disability benefits. If you are unsure of your ability to file for benefits and need free legal advice, contact our Oklahoma disability lawyers at (918) 587-0050 to schedule a consultation.

Video Transcription

The first step in the sequential evaluation is whether a person is engaged in substantial gainful activity; it’s a work activity that is both substantial and gainful. What it means to be substantial, in general, it becomes a little complicated for people who are self-employed. But for people who work for someone else, if they’re making a little over 1,000 dollars a month it’s considered to be substantial gainful activity and Social Security would say they’re not disabled.

The way I describe it to clients is: disability is for people who can’t work; if you’re working, it’s obvious that you can work. So, the way Social Security looks at it is if you are working and if you’re working over a certain amount, you can’t be disabled no matter what your problems are. One example I always give people, almost everybody knows Stephen Hawking. He’s the English physicist who’s brilliant. Under Social Security standards, he is not disabled, and that’s because he works, he writes books, he makes a lot of money. If he stopped doing that, he would obviously be disabled but Social Security would say he is not disabled at step one of their sequential evaluation. To have a free consultation of your disability claim, call us at (918) 587-0050 or visit us at TroutmanLaw.com.