How to Get Denied Without Getting Denied

Art: Robin Mead

Sometimes you will get a letter or website update that says “denied” even though you haven’t really been denied!

A technical denial means they haven’t looked at your medical records. They are running into a different kind of problem. If you receive a denial letter that does not mention a medical decision, you can contact Social Security to confirm why you were denied.

Don’t Panic

There are three kinds of technical denials:

  • Denied for SSI
  • Denied for SSDI
  • Denied for both.

If you just got denied for one, don’t panic! Your other application is probably continuing on. If you are unsure if your other application is continuing on, you can check your online account, or you can call Social Security. Learn more here: What Will I Qualify for? SSI? SSDI? Both? Neither?

SSDI Denial

If you get a technical denial it is most likely because you did not pay enough Social Security taxes. Maybe there is nothing you can do, or maybe there is something you can do: Solutions if you are told you are not eligible for disability

SSI Denial

There are a few reasons why this might happen:

  • You haven’t had your SSI interview yet. Sometimes the website says, “SSI denied” even though the person hasn’t even had their interview yet! We don’t know why this happens, but the website may just correct itself on its own. The SSI interview is a bunch of questions about your finances, bank account, rent, cars, houses, and income. If you haven’t had an SSI interview, you can call and request one.
  • You didn’t apply for SSI. When you apply, there is a box that asks if you “Intend to apply for SSI.” If you are poor, you want to check this box, or you want to make sure your lawyer is checking this box for you. If you didn’t check the box, don’t worry, just call now and request an SSI interview.
  • You aren’t poor. Yep, you’ve been denied SSI. You can still apply for SSDI.

What Do You Think? 

Updated September 2018. Please comment below with stories, ideas, questions or suggestions. Please let us know if any links on this page stop working. 

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17 thoughts on “How to Get Denied Without Getting Denied”

      1. I got the same message…posted 8/8/19
        Do you know what it means?
        I was told I’d just be waiting for my hearing for a while longer prior to seeing that update.


  1. Hello
    I applied for adult DAC sad I on 6/06/19. My case has been processing today 6/26 My online account says
    Disability Determination Decision Under Review
    Your benefit application is currently under review for processing accuracy. Once the review is complete, we will continue processing your benefit application.
    Anyone know if this is a good sign? Or what this means?


    1. It means they have made a decision and sent it to “quality review” to be looked over. If you are already on SSI and switching to DAC, in that situation everyone we have heard from was approved pretty easily. Hope it goes well.


  2. Hello
    I applied for DAC Disabled adult child benefit on my father’s record. I have as I right now. When I applied for the child benefit my online account said child benefit processing on Monday. Now on wednesday I have 2 benefits the child benefit is still processing and then underneath that it says SSDI and that is denied. I am 31 years old and have never worked. When adult disabled benefit is applied for do the Dds look at my individual record first and do the child benefit second. That would make sense of my individual sad I was denied because I never worked and that my DAC is still processesing.


    1. If you have never worked, your SSDI would automatically be denied, so that shouldn’t mean anything.

      I would assume that is correct that a medical decision on DAC isn’t made yet.


    2. I also haven’t went to my hearing yet and I see a medical decision has been made. Then a week later someone call me to make sure my address and phone number was correct is this just the process of a hearing


  3. Hi i have a question,I checked my initial application and i notice the ssd is no longer there,it only says ssi processing,what does that mean?it does says they made a decision,Thanks!


  4. Hello. TC here. So are you saying that I can get a denial for Ssi due to approval for SSDI? (Benefit app under review) medical decision made


    1. If your SSDI is above $755, you won’t be eligible for SSI ongoingly (it is slightly higher in some states).

      Sometimes you can still get some backpay from SSI, so it is worth still going to the SSI interview if they contact you for one.

      Hope your application goes well.


  5. Please help me…I just checked my website and it says my application for disability was denied..nothing else or medical…does this mean a medical decision was not made yet


    1. Hi Holly, Perhaps you can give Social Security a call tomorrow to confirm. If it was denied, please don’t give up hope. Keep appealing. Your chances are much better with appeals.


      1. Can I inbox you the decision. There is nothing about medical anywhere and my estimated benefits still say pending due to applying for disability


        1. Hi Holly,

          You are welcome to send a message on facebook:

          I think that you when you get the letter in writing that is when you will get more information – they don’t give full information online.

          If you call them, it is possible that they can tell you more on the phone as well.

          I am hoping things turn out well for your case 💙


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