Automatic Determinations

Substantial gainful activity amounts

Wage-indexed amounts

SGA for the Blind—applies to Social Security benefits, but does not apply to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits

The formula for determining the SGA amount for the blind is set by law and is applicable only if a cost-of-living increase becomes effective for December of the year in which a determination of the SGA amount would ordinarily be made. Because there is a cost-of-living increase for December 2016, the formula can be applied.

According to the formula, the monthly SGA amount for statutorily blind individuals for 2017 is such SGA amount for 1994 multiplied by the ratio of the national average wage index for 2015 to that for 1992, or, if larger, such SGA amount for 2016 ($1,820). If the amount so calculated is not a multiple of $10, we round it to the nearest multiple of $10.

Calculation details
Amounts in
formula
1994 monthly SGA amount$930
1992 average wage index22,935.42
2015 average wage index48,098.63
Computation$930 times (48,098.63 divided by 22,935.42) equals $1,950.33, which rounds to $1,950
Higher amount $1,950 exceeds the corresponding amount for 2016, so the amount for 2017 is $1,950


SGA for the Non-Blind Disabled—applies to Social Security and SSI benefits

The method used to adjust the SGA for non-blind individuals is similar to that used for blind individuals and was published in the Federal Register (FR 65 82905) on December 29, 2000. The monthly SGA amount for non-blind disabled individuals for 2017 is such SGA amount for 2000 multiplied by the ratio of the national average wage index for 2015 to that for 1998, or, if larger such SGA amount for 2016 ($1,130). If the amount so calculated is not a multiple of $10, we round it to the nearest multiple of $10.

Calculation details
Amounts in
formula
2000 monthly SGA amount$700
1998 average wage index28,861.44
2015 average wage index48,098.63
Computation$700 times (48,098.63 divided by 28,861.44) equals $1,166.58, which rounds to $1,170
Higher amount$1,170 exceeds the corresponding amount for 2016, so the amount for 2017 is $1,170