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An overview of SGA

Indiana residents and others who are applying for disability benefits must be able to show that they have a significant physical or mental impairment. This impairment must make it impossible for an applicant to engage in substantial gainful activity, or SGA. Generally speaking, a person meets the SGA threshold by making at least $1,220 per month as of 2019. Those who are able to make more than that amount each month will have their applications denied.

In many cases, those applications will never be reviewed by a disability examiner. Instead, they will be given a technical denial, and that typically means that an individual is better off not applying at all. At a minimum, an applicant should wait until their income falls below that level before requesting benefits. Furthermore, if an individual's income eventually rises above the SGA threshold, he or she may no longer be entitled to benefits.

Individuals who are not able to work because of a mental or physical condition may be interested in applying for government benefits. Those who are applying for Social Security disability will generally be entitled to monthly cash payments based on their work record. Individuals can be approved for benefits based on impairments caused by more than one physical or mental condition. Applicants may be able to apply with the assistance of an attorney or other legal professional.

An attorney may help an applicant find medical records and other evidence that might make it easier to establish a mental or physical disability. Legal counsel may also be able to fill out paperwork and send it in before the deadline to do so expires. If a matter gets to this level, Indianapolis, Indiana attorneys handling Social Security disability cases may represent a person in an administrative hearing.

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