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SSDI Benefits in Louisiana

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a type of insurance that covers workers in the unfortunate event that they become unable to work due to a disability.

It's similar to other types of insurance you might pay for, like car insurance or homeowner's insurance, except in this case, you're insuring yourself against the possibility that you won't be able to work anymore because of a long-term or permanent disability.

About the Social Security Administration

SSDI is run by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA is in charge of multiple social programs, but its primary functions are to administer retirement, disability, and survivor's benefits to American workers and their families.

The SSA collects Social Security taxes from workers across the country and uses that money to provide SSDI benefits to Louisiana residents in need.

How to Qualify for SSDI in Louisiana

In Louisiana, to be eligible for SSDI, you need to have a disability as defined by the SSA, and you need to have earned enough work credits.

So what exactly does the SSA consider a disability? They have a very specific definition.

How Does the SSA Define Disability?

The SSA has a strict definition of “disability.” People with short-term or partial disabilities do not qualify for SSDI.

The SSA considers you disabled if:

  • You can't do the work that you did before
  • You can't adjust to other work because of your medical conditions
  • Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death

What Are Work Credits?

Work credits are earned as you pay Social Security taxes. You can earn up to 4 work credits per year.

Most people need 40 credits to qualify for SSDI, and 20 work credits must have been earned during the last 10 years leading up to the disability. However, younger workers may qualify with fewer credits.

If a homemaker is married to someone eligible for Social Security, and the spouse passes away or if the homemaker is divorced from an eligible worker, they may qualify for SSDI benefits as a surviving spouse or divorced spouse.

How to Apply for SSDI in Louisiana

Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) in Louisiana is a straightforward process, though it may take time to gather all necessary documentation.

You can apply online, by phone, or in person. Applying online is the fastest and most convenient option. To do so, visit the Social Security Administration's website and log in to your mySocialSecurity account.

Apply for SSDI Benefits Online: https://secure.ssa.gov/iClaim/dib

Apply By Phone: 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 8:00 am - 7:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

To apply in person, visit your local Social Security office.

Information Needed to Apply for SSDI in Louisiana

When applying for SSDI, you'll need to gather the necessary information and documents.

Here's what you'll need:

  • Your Social Security number
  • Your birth or baptismal certificate
  • Names, addresses, and phone numbers of doctors, hospitals, and clinics that treated you
  • Names and dosages of your medications
  • Medical records and laboratory test results
  • A summary of where you've worked and what kind of work you did
  • Your most recent W-2 form or federal tax return

You may have a lot of paperwork to organize. However, it's very important to provide complete and accurate information or your application may be denied.

Appeal Process

If your SSDI application gets denied, don't lose hope. Many people are initially denied but successfully appeal the decision. You have the right to protest the decision and file an appeal.

In Louisiana, there are four levels of appeal:

Reconsideration: This is a complete review of your claim by someone who wasn't involved in the initial decision.

Hearing by an administrative law judge: If your claim is denied at the reconsideration level, you can request a hearing by a judge who had no part in the original decision or the reconsideration.

Review by the Appeals Council: If you disagree with the hearing decision, you can ask for a review by the SSA's Appeals Council.

Federal Court review: If the Appeals Council decision is still unsatisfactory, your last resort is to file a lawsuit in a federal district court.

Do You Need a Disability Attorney?

While it's not required, having a lawyer can greatly improve your chances of getting SSDI benefits. A disability attorney can help you fill out your application, gather necessary medical evidence, prepare for your hearing, and navigate the appeals process if your claim is denied.

Disability lawyers understand the intricacies of the SSDI system. They know how to present a case effectively to the SSA, which can often make the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful claim.

Disability lawyers usually work on a contingency basis, and only get paid if you win your claim. Typically, they receive a portion of your back pay if your application is approved &mdash either 25% of your back pay, or $7,200, whichever is less. The maximum a disability attorney can charge is $7,200.

SSI Program in Louisiana

The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program is designed to help older adults, blind individuals, and people with disabilities who have little to no income. It provides cash assistance to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter.

The SSI program is managed by the Social Security Administration (SSA), but the state of Louisiana supplements the federal benefit amount, increasing the total assistance an eligible individual or family can receive.

How to Qualify for SSI

To qualify for SSI in Louisiana, you must meet the federal requirements, which include being 65 or older, blind, or disabled. You must also have limited income and resources. Income includes money earned from work, money from other benefits, and support from family or friends. Resources include things like bank accounts, cash, land, and vehicles. The SSA has specific thresholds for income and resources, which can change each year.

The following groups are eligible for SSI in Louisiana:

  • Adults aged 65 and above
  • People who are blind
  • People who are unable to work because of a disability

You can apply for SSI by visiting the SSA's website and completing the online application. You can also apply in person at a local SSA office. When applying, you'll need to provide various pieces of information, including your Social Security number, proof of age, medical information, and details about your income and resources.

Apply for SSI Benefits Online: https://www.ssa.gov/ssi/start.html

Apply By Phone: Call 1-800-772-1213 to make an appointment to file your SSI application.

Being eligible for SSI in Louisiana may also automatically qualify you for other significant benefits, such as Medicaid and SNAP food assistance. Applying for these benefits can be an important step towards improving the quality of life for Louisiana residents.

Louisiana - Social Security Disability Office Locations

Office Code Name Address Weekday Hours Phone Number
800 NEW ORLEANS DWNTWN LA Ste 500, 400 Poydras St, New Orleans, LA 70130 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 855-257-0984
801 SHREVEPORT LA 1240 S Pointe Pkwy, Shreveport, LA 71105 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 877-319-3074
802 MONROE LA 1120 Plz Blvd, Monroe, LA 71201 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-815-8716
803 BATON ROUGE LA 5455 Bankers Ave, Baton Rouge, LA 70808 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-613-3070
804 ALEXANDRIA LA 3401 North Blvd, Alexandria, LA 71301 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 877-876-3171
805 LAKE CHARLES LA Ste B, 149 W 18th St, Lake Charles, LA 70601 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 877-409-8431
806 LAFAYETTE LA 106 Corporate Blvd, Lafayette, LA 70508 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 888-619-4771
807 HOUMA LA Ste 100, 178 Civic Center Blvd, Houma, LA 70360 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-899-5631
808 HAMMOND LA 2100 Robin Ave, Hammond, LA 70403 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 855-848-7937
A70 ORL WEST LA 115 Terry Pkwy, Terrytown, LA 70056 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-931-2524
A71 KENNER LA 1616 Joe Yenni Blvd, Kenner, LA 70065 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 888-850-2232
D18 ST TAMMANY LA 64285 Highway 434, Lacombe, LA 70445 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-887-8997
713 MINDEN LA 103 Mbl Bank Dr, Minden, LA 71055 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 877-319-5762
809 NATCHITOCHES LA 950 Keyser Ave, Natchitoches, LA 71457 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 855-634-4195
810 OPELOUSAS LA 5097 I49 S Service Rd, Opelousas, LA 70570 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-698-3338
812 MORGAN CITY LA 1279 Clothilde St, Morgan City, LA 70380 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 855-433-5874
A69 BOGALUSA LA 438 Ave B, Bogalusa, LA 70427 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 888-748-7678
B43 RUSTON LA 2017 Bular St, Ruston, LA 71270 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 877-405-7823
B52 NEW IBERIA LA 417 Spanish Town Blvd, New Iberia, LA 70560 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-592-1496
D81 LEESVILLE LA 2100 Sartor St, Leesville, LA 71446 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 888-577-6906
E36 BATON ROUGE NORTH LA 4332 Harding Blvd, Baton Rouge, LA 70807 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 888-487-0143