The Basics of an Unsuccessful Work Attempt
Frank J. Dito, Jr.
An unsuccessful work attempt is when you attempt to perform substantial gainful activity (SGA) and find that you are unable to continue working because of your disability. The main characteristic of an unsuccessful work attempt is that it lasted no more than 6 months. Another form of an unsuccessful work attempt is when your substantial gainful activity falls below Social Security's SGA limit.
When you have an unsuccessful work attempt the income you earned during that period does not factor into determining your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments. It also does not come into question except in the initial application phase of your SSI benefits claim. Once your initial claim phase is over, any further substantial work attempts cannot affect your SSI payments.
When looking at an unsuccessful work attempt, the Social Security Administration has determined that you must be unable to work for a long period of time in order for the break to qualify as an unsuccessful work attempt.
Another important thing to know is that what you earn during your unsuccessful work attempt does not factor into your overall SGA amount. This is very important when taking into consideration the potential success of your initial claim for Social Security disability benefits.
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