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Social Security Disability, Substantial Gainful Activity, and the self-employed

The Social Security Administration notes that any supervisory, managerial, advisory, or other significant personal services that are performed as a self-employed individual tend to show ability to perform SGA. The claimant's income will not be considered solely, but his activities and their value to the business will be evaluated. The work activity will be evaluated on the value to the business regardless of whether the claimant receives an immediate income. SGA will be found if:

  1. The work activity is comparable to that of unimpaired individuals who are in the same or similar business;
  2. The work activity is clearly worth the amount shown in 20 C.F.R. § 404.1574(b)(2) ($1,010.00 per month for 2012) when considered in terms of its value to the business, or when compared to the salary that an owner would pay an employee to do the same work; or
  3. The claimant renders services that are significant to the operation of the business and receives a substantial income from the business.


An experienced attorney representative can advise a claimant on SGA issues.

If you need more information about a personal injury matter (car wreck, boating accident, slip and fall, etc.), Social Security Disability or SSI matter, EEOICPA claim, or a workers compensation matter, please contact the Law Offices of Tony Farmer and John Dreiser for a free case evaluation. We can be reached at (865) 584-1211 or (800) 806-4611, or through our website. Our office handles claims throughout East Tennessee, including Knoxville, Chattanooga, Kingsport, Bristol, Johnson City, Morristown, Maryville, Rogersville, Dandridge, Tazewell, New Tazewell, Jefferson City, Strawberry Plains, Sevierville, Gatlinburg, Loudon, Kingston, Halls, Maynardville, Crossville, Cookeville, Jamestown, Sweetwater, Lenoir City, Athens, Oak Ridge, Clinton, LaFollette, Lake City, Jacksboro, Bean Station, Cosby, Newport, White Pine, Mosheim, Wartburg, Sunbright, Pigeon Forge, and Deer Lodge.

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