What Is a Technical Denial in a Social Security Disability Case?


A technical denial of Social Security Disability benefits occurs when an applicant fails the financial limitations or work requirements of a disability claim.

While most Social Security disability claims are denied due to the SSA not finding a medical condition severe enough that a person couldn’t work, some claimants receive a “technical denial” for reasons, other than medical, that they were not eligible to receive disability benefits.

Some of the reasons for a technical denial in an SSDI claim, include:

  • Earning Too Much.  If you are currently working and earn above the “substantial gainful activity” limit, you would receive a technical denial. The SGA limit in 2012 is $1,010. This applies to both SSDI and SSI claims.
  • Didn't Work Long Enough. SSDI claims require a person to have paid in enough to be covered under the Social Security disability program. How many years you need to have worked depends on your age. For instance, if you are 50 years old, you need to have worked seven years at a job that pays into Social Security.
  • Haven't Worked Recently Enough. If you haven't worked in recent years, you might also receive a technical denial, if you were not found disabled before the date you were last insured. SSD insurance coverage lapses after a certain amount of time if you stop paying FICA taxes. The date your SSDI lapses is called the “date last insured” (DLI). You must have worked for five out of the last ten years to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. So for instance, if you worked your whole life but stopped working six years ago, your DLI is considered to be exactly one year ago. If you can provide records that prove that your disability existed before your DLI, you might be able to successfully appeal the denial.

Technical Denials in SSI Claims

Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, is a needs-based disability benefit program. There are no past earnings requirements for SSI. However, to be eligible for SSI benefits, you must not exceed strict income and asset limits. Most technical denials in SSI cases are because the limits are exceeded.

Getting Legal Help

If you or a loved one needs to pursue a disability claim or wishes to discuss claim eligibility, give Disability Professionals a call at 855-201-9569 or email DisabilityProfessionals to set up your appointment today.



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