For 1978 or later, annual Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) amounts for blind individuals
under Title II are higher than the amounts for non-blind individuals. For specific
amounts, see Tables of SGA Earnings Guidelines and Effective Dates Based on Year of
Work Activity - DI 10501.015.
Prior to applying the Earnings Guidelines for a SGA determination, evaluate the earnings
and activities of blind individuals to determine “countable earnings.” See Determining
Countable Earnings - DI 10505.010. Deduct any subsidy and Impairment Related Work Expenses (IRWE) from gross earnings.
A blind employee is considered engaging in SGA in 1978 or later if his/her “countable
earnings” average more than the amount shown in the SGA Earnings Guidelines.
Cases in which the average monthly “countable earnings” of blind individuals, in 1978
or later, do not exceed the amount shown for blind persons in the SGA Earnings Guidelines
need not be evaluated under the comparability and worth of work tests. It is assumed
that average monthly “countable earnings” do not demonstrate an ability to engage