20 CFR § 404.2110 - What we mean by “SGA” and by “a continuous period of 9 months”.
(a) What we mean by “SGA”. In determining whether an individual's work is SGA, we will follow the rules in §§ 404.1572 through 404.1575. We will follow these same rules for individuals who are statutorily blind, but we will evaluate the earnings in accordance with the rules in § 404.1584(d).
(b) What we mean by “a continuous period of 9 months”. A continuous period of 9 months ordinarily means a period of 9 consecutive calendar months. Exception: When an individual does not perform SGA in 9 consecutive calendar months, he or she will be considered to have done so if -
(1) The individual performs 9 months of SGA within 10 consecutive months and has monthly earnings that meet or exceed the guidelines in § 404.1574(b)(2), or § 404.1584(d) if the individual is statutorily blind; or
(2) The individual performs at least 9 months of SGA within 12 consecutive months, and the reason for not performing SGA in 2 or 3 of those months was due to circumstances beyond his or her control and unrelated to the impairment (e.g., the employer closed down for 3 months).
(c) What work we consider. In determining if a continuous period of SGA has been completed, all of an individual's work activity may be evaluated for purposes of this section, including work performed before October 1981, during the waiting period, during the trial work period and after entitlement to disability benefits terminated. We will ordinarily consider only the first 9 months of SGA that occur. The exception will be if an individual who completed 9 months of SGA later stops performing SGA, receives VR services and then performs SGA for a 9-month period. See § 404.2115 for the use of the continuous period in determining payment for VR services.