A denial for Social Security disability benefits can occur for many reasons, including a question as to whether or not the claimant truly is impaired. However, some denials are made before the question of impairment is raised. A technical denial takes place in the earliest stages of reviewing an application. If you received a technical denial, here is what you need to know.
What Is a Technical Denial?
Many people mistakenly believe that the Social Security Administration, or SSA, only reviews claimants' impairments when determining eligibility. In actuality, the agency looks at a lot more. The agency also looks at income and the work history of each claimant.
In order to be eligible for disability benefits, you cannot earn more than $1,130, as of June 2016. If you are considered statutorily blind, the amount is raised to $1,820. The amount does not include any work-related expenses that you have incurred in order to work. For instance, if you are paying monthly for dictation software to help you complete your work duties, it will be deducted from your income before assessment.
Another requirement for benefits is that your work history must be a certain length of time. To receive benefits, you must have worked long enough to contribute to the system. The length of the required work history varies depending on age. If you did not reach the required length, your denial letter should detail how far you fell short.
What Can You Do?
What steps you have available depends largely on the reason for the denial. If you were denied based on income and can prove that you did not exceed the income level set by the SSA, you can file an appeal.
When you file the appeal, include documentation that proves you are eligible. Write out a detailed explanation that explains your monthly income. For instance, if your income over the past few months was higher than usual because you received funds from a special project that was a one-time offer, note it.
If you were denied based on work history, you must prove that your work history was substantial enough. To do so, contact the SSA and ask for a written explanation that details which jobs it had considered when evaluating your claim. If there are any missing employment records, you need to provide the employers' names, work dates, and contact information.
Consult with a disability attorney like Bruce K Billman to find out other steps you can take to possibly overturn a technical denial.