Monday, January 9, 2017

What are "Non-Medical" or "Technical" Denials in Social Security Disability Applications

When a person files a Social Security Disability application, the SSA can take one of two actions: 1. ask the state agency to commence a medical evaluation of the claim or, 2. issue a "technical denial". Technical denials are also called "Non-Medical" denials.  

Technical denials occur when the SSA finds that the claimant does not have enough credits (the person has not worked long enough and recently enough), the person is working and making more than $1,170 a month or, the applicant failed to meet the necessary immigration requirements.  

Sometimes, the state agency (DDS) makes a favorable medical determination on a case but, later on, the SSA denies the claim when it realizes that the would be beneficiary fails to meet a technical requirement.  These specific type of technical denials are called "subsequent non-medical denials".

Lately there has been an increase in technical denials.  The reason why this is happening is not entirely clear.  It is very frustrating to handle an appeal of a technical denial.  As a general rule, my office does not handle these type of claims.  Moreover, such denials cannot be appealed electronically.  Claimants who have received technical denials must do a lot of homework on their own, gathering information such as records showing: accurate earning histories, payment of FICA taxes, wage information and proof of immigration status.  Once all this information is obtained, a paper appeal can be submitted, --in person or by mail at the local field office--, requesting a reconsideration of the technical denial.