What is a Technical Denial?

A technical denial is a denial based on Social Security's non-medical requirements

Yellow signs that say 'technical denial'

A technical denial is another name for a non-medical denial. These terms are used interchangeably for both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claims.

Substantial, Gainful Activity (SGA)

The first technical requirement pertains to both SSDI and SSI: You cannot be working above a “Substantial, Gainful Activity” (SGA) level. For 2024, the SGA limit is $1,550 per month (pre-tax) for non-blind individuals and $2,590 per month for blind individuals. In any month in which you work above this level, you are not eligible to receive SSDI or SSI benefits.

Work Credits

The second technical requirement pertains only to SSDI claims: You need to have enough work credits. Generally, this means you need to have worked 5 of the 10 years immediately preceding the onset of your disability and earned 20 work credits in that time. Work credits are earned per year, and you can earn up to 4 credits per year. Earning $1,730 will earn you one credit, with $6,920 in earnings granting you the full 4 credits for a year.

While the number of work credits needed to qualify for SSDI changes based on your age, this is the general idea behind the technical requirement for claimants over the age of 31.

Limited Assets and Resources

Another common technical requirement pertains only to SSI claims: You must be financially needy. Claimants filing for SSI must have less than $2,000 in assets and resources, aside from one primary car and home. If you are married, the amount is increased to $3,000. Additional requirements regarding earned and unearned income apply.

For more information regarding technical requirements for SSDI and SSI, contact us now. We are happy to help!

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