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Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA)

What is Work For Purposes Of Substantial Gainful Activity?

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For purposes of determining whether there is "Substantial Gainful Activity" (SGA) within Social Security's definition, work is defined as an activity that involves performing significant and productive physical or mental duties.

The question of whether an activity is work generally comes up when determining whether your health condition prevents you from performing "substantial gainful activities." Generally, any SGA requires you to be able to:

  • Walk, stand, sit, lift, push, pull, reach, carry or handle
  • See, hear, and speak
  • Understand, carry out, and remember simple instructions
  • Use your own judgment
  • Respond to supervision, co-workers and usual work situations
  • Deal with changes in a routine work setting

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