A technical denial of a disability case is when the case is denied for some reason other than the severity of your condition. Social Security Disability is based on your having worked enough and paid enough into the system to qualify for social security benefits. If you file a disability application and it turns out that you do not have sufficient social security taxes paid in over a long enough period of time, then your case can be denied for technical reasons.

Supplemental Security Income disability case is basically a welfare program for people who have not worked enough to qualify for Social Security disability benefits or who have not worked recently enough to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. A technical denial can occur if you do not meet the income and resource criteria. If you have a bank account, property that could be sold, other than where you live, or multiple vehicles, then even though you may otherwise be eligible for SSI disability, you could be denied.

What Are My Chances Of Getting Approved At The Reconsideration Level?

There are actually four different administrative levels of appeal in Social Security disability cases. When you file your application, it is sent to an agency of the state where you live, which contracts with the social security administration to review that information and make a decision. That’s the initial level of appeal. About two thirds of the people who file are denied at the initial level. Then, the next level of appeal is reconsideration. It’s important to remember that the deadline to appeal from one level to the next is 60 days and that is an absolute deadline.

The chances of being approved at the reconsideration level are even lower than the initial appeal level. After that, it changes, because if you are denied at the initial level and at the reconsideration level and you file a request for a hearing, then you get a decision from a Social Security administrative law judge. That is the only step in the process in which you have the right to appear in person in front of a judge, who has the authority to approve your claim.

Can I Get Both Workers’ Compensation And Social Security Benefits At The Same Time?

Usually, you can get Social Security and workers’ compensation at the same time. However, there is an offset provision that says the total amount of benefits you receive from Social Security and workers’ compensation, combined, cannot exceed 80% of what you were earning before you became disabled. If you are receiving workers’ compensation benefits and the monthly amount is equal to at least 80% of your pre-disability earning, then you won’t receive any social security disability benefits until the workers’ compensation benefits end or are reduced. If the monthly amount is less than 80%, you can receive Social Security disability benefits in addition to the workers’ compensation. Of course, the Social Security benefits may be reduced from the amount you would normally be entitled to until the workers’ compensation stops.

There is no harm in filing for Social Security disability benefits while you are receiving workers’ compensation, so that you have a decision in place that protects you and gives you income when your workers’ compensation benefits end.

by Carl M. Weisbrod
Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law

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