The disability attorneys at Disability Associates explain the meaning behind technical denials as it applies to Social Security disability cases.
The majority of applicants who are denied Social Security disability benefits are denied for medical reasons, meaning the Social Security Administration (SSA) concluded that the applicant’s disability was not severe enough to inhibit his or her work abilities and, therefore, require benefits. For example, many applicants that apply for benefits with disabilities resulting from acute trauma are often denied because the impairment isn’t life-altering beyond 12 months, which is the minimum amount of time a disability has to exist to be eligible.
However, applicants can also receive what’s known as a “technical denial” after applying for Social Security disability benefits. When an applicant receives a technical denial from the SSA, it means that he or she was deemed ineligible to receive disability benefits based on non-medical evidence. Therefore, in these instances, the disability at hand is not the deciding factor in determining whether or not an applicant should be approved to receive benefits.
An applicant would receive a technical denial if he or she is working at the time the application was submitted and receives earnings above the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) limit. For 2015, the SGA is set at $1,090, meaning an applicant cannot earn more than that amount per month and be considered eligible to receive benefits.
An applicant applying for Social Security disability benefits will also likely receive a technical denial if he or she exceeds the additional fixed income and asset limits. There are a number of guidelines and external factors that could play a role in these limitations, so be sure to consult with a disability attorney to determine if they apply to your unique case. The majority of technical denials in these cases are due to the applicant surpassing these limits.
If you’ve been denied Social Security disability benefits based on a technical denial, it is important to understand that the majority of technical denials cannot be appealed as the terms of the denial are not likely to change. However, in certain instances where the SSA made an error in assessing income and/or assets or if there was a paperwork mistake, the situation may warrant an appeal.
For more information on technical denials or your unique Social Security disability circumstances, contact Disability Associates today.