When you apply for social security disability insurance, one of three things happen. In the first scenario, your medical records are reviewed and you are deemed eligible for benefits. In the second scenario, your medical records are reviewed and you are deemed eligible for work and therefore are not qualified to receive SSDI benefits. In the third scenario, your medical records are never reviewed, but you receive a notification that you have been issued a technical denial of benefits. What does this mean and what do you do now?
What A Technical Denial Means
A technical denial of SSDI means that there was no need for the Department of Social Security to evaluate your medical records because you did not pass the non-medical related portion of the eligibility process.
The most common reason for technical denials of SSDI benefits is inadequate work history.
Reasons For Technical Denial Of SSDI Benefits
There are two primary reasons your work history may have rendered you ineligible for SSDI benefits.
You Have Not Accumulated Enough Work Hour Credits -- In order to qualify for SSDI benefits, you must have accumulated a certain number of work credits throughout your lifetime. A single credit is acquired by earning a specified dollar amount set for each year. In 2014, a person must make $1200 for a single credit, for example, while in 2015 that dollar amount will rise to $1220.
You can earn up to 4 credits per year, and you must acquire a total of 40 credits to qualify for full benefits if you're 62 years of age or older. Those who are under the age of 62 may qualify for full SSDI benefits with fewer credits.
You Haven't Worked Recently Enough To Receive Benefits
Of the 40 credits a person over the age of 62 needs to qualify for full SSDI benefits, 20 of them have to be earned in the 10 years prior to them becoming disabled. SSDI benefits are either granted or denied; there are no partial benefit amounts. This means that if you only worked enough in the 10 years before becoming disabled to be eligible for 18 credits instead of 20, you will be denied the full amount of your benefits.
What To Do After A Technical Denial Of SSDI
The first step after a technical denial of SSDI is to consult a social security lawyer. While your lawyer can't change how many work credits you have accumulated, they can go over your case and look for any missing documents or paperwork errors that may have had an effect on the Social Security Department's ruling.
There are 4 levels of appeal that an SSDI applicant may be eligible for, so you'll have plenty of opportunities to prove that the Department of Social Security has made their ruling in error.
If your lawyer doesn't find any errors in your case, however, there is no way to change your SSDI ruling. In this case, your next step is to apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
There Difference Between SSDI and SSI
The major difference between SSDI and SSI is that SSI does not carry the requirement that you must accumulate a certain number of work credits in order to qualify. The only requirements for SSI are that you must be over the age of 65 and/or disabled, you must be a citizen of the United States, and you must have a limited amount of resources and income.
If you've received a technical denial for SSDI benefits, it's most likely because you have an inadequate work history. Don't give up hope -- financial assistance may still be available to you. Have a lawyer from a site like http://www.russelljgoldsmith.com take a look at your case to help you determine whether you should dispute your judgment or instead apply for supplemental security income.