What is Substantial Gainful Activity in Colorado?

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is available to working people who have become unable to work because of a physical or mental disability. The amount of the monthly stipend depends on the amount earned and contributed to Social Security during a lifetime of employment.

To be eligible for SSDI benefits, due to a documented physical or mental disability, a person must be incapable of engaging in substantial gainful activity. Substantial gainful activity is determined by the amount of income a disabled applicant generates during the month. Social Security divides disabilities into two general categories: blind and non-blind. Currently blind applicants cannot earn more than $2110 per month to quality for SSDI benefits. Supplemental Security Income benefits (based on financial need) are not included in this calculation for blind applicants. Non-blind applicants can earn even less: $1260 and Supplemental Security Income benefits are included in the calculation.

The monthly income that demonstrates substantial gainful activity is geared to the national average wage index, which is adjusted each year. Back in 1975, substantial gainful activity was just $200 and blind and non-blind applicants were treated the same. In 1978, the two classifications were developed, with blind applicants permitted greater monthly income while still qualifying for benefits.

Trial Work Period

Once disabled applicants qualify for SSDI benefits and become beneficiaries, they can still try out working again. Social Security has devised a trial work period to encourage beneficiaries to return to work without jeopardizing benefits. This trial work period permits working up to 9 months, not necessarily consecutively, in a rolling 60-month period. A month qualifies when the individual’s trial work pays more than $880 monthly, or starting in 2020, $910. Once a beneficiary has these 9 months during a 60-month period, the disability is considered ended.

Contact a Social Security disability benefits attorney in Adams County

If you are having trouble applying for SSDI benefits or have applied and your benefits were denied, our Adams County SSDI attorney can help. John Anderson has decades of experience working with clients who have disabilities. He understands the ins and outs of SSDI law in Colorado and how important your benefits are to you and your family. For a consultation, give him a call today at (303) 880-7994 or contact him online. He looks forward to speaking with you.