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Home » Glossary » Technical Denial

Definition of Technical Denial

Many claimants wonder how the Social Security Administration can deny their claim over the phone or just after a few days. How can the SSA know whether or not they are severely disabled without reviewing their medical records? If a claimant is denied quickly it is because they have received a technical denial, which means the SSI or SSDI applicant does not meet the nonmedical criteria for benefits.

Working too much, making too much money, having a condition which will not last 12 continuous months, not having sufficient work credits to be considered insured (for SSDI only) or having an income and resource level which is too high (for SSI only) could all be considered reasons for a technical denial. If a claimant receives a technical denial it means the SSA has not pulled their medical records or reviewed the severity of their case. They simply made the denial after a cursory review of their nonmedical criteria.

Technical denials can be appealed, but unless the circumstances have changed, the claimant can expect another denial. For example, if the SSA claims you are working too much but you have since quit your job, you can file an appeal and have the case reviewed a second time. If, however, the SSA claims you do not have sufficient work credits and you have not earned any more credits, there is no need to appeal the SSDI denial because you will be denied a second time. An exception could exist, however, if the SSA made a miscalculation or you had evidence to prove you did have sufficient work credits. In this case a challenge may be successful.

Talk to a disability lawyer if you have questions about your denial letter or whether you have the ability to appeal a technical denial.

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