Filing for Disability in Louisiana

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If you live in Louisiana and can’t work for at least a year due to illness or injury, you could be eligible for Social Security disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. In order to qualify for SSD, you must have earned a certain number of “work credits.” SSI is a needs-based disability program. While these federal benefit programs are administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA), there are some differences in disability claim procedure and timing in Louisiana that you should know about.

Applying for SSD or SSI in Louisiana

You can apply for disability benefits one of three ways:

  • Online – visit the SSA’s website at www.ssa.gov.
  • Via telephone – call 800-772-1213.
  • In person – at a SSA field office (find the nearest one at www.ssa.gov/locator).

If you’re applying for SSI, you can do so in-person or via telephone, but the SSI application is not available online.

Louisiana Social Security Disability Denials

Around 68% of those who apply for disability in Louisiana have their claims denied. It takes an average of three to four months for this decision to arrive, and once received, you have 60 days to appeal a disability denial.

Stage of Application

Louisiana

Nationally

Initial Application

32.6%

32.1%

Reconsideration Review

23.6%

11.3%

Appeal Hearing

40.3%

58.6%

Hearing Wait Time

220 days

348 days

No Reconsideration in Louisiana

In most states, the first SSD appeal is called a “Request for Reconsideration.” However, Louisiana is one of a few “prototype” states where this step has been eliminated. Although reconsideration may return in Louisiana in the future, as of now, someone whose initial disability claim has been denied goes straight to the next step in the appeals process – the disability hearing.

Disability Hearings

Although Louisiana has one of the lowest hearing wait-times in the nation, there will likely be several months between when you request a disability hearing and when your hearing take place. The average wait for a disability hearing in Louisiana is seven months.

At your Social Security hearing, the administrative law judge (ALJ) who has been assigned to your case will ask you questions about your past employment, your illnesses or injuries, and what you do on a daily basis. Sometimes the SSA hires a doctor or vocational (employment) expert to give an opinion on your case.

You will receive the judge’s decision in writing within 30 days of your hearing date. Around 50% of Louisiana Social Security disability hearings result in the claimant (applicant) receiving a favorable decision.

If the ALJ doesn’t rule in your favor, there are two more steps in the SSA appeals process.

Appeals Council Review

You can request that the SSA’s Appeals Council review the judge’s decision to determine if the ALJ made an error. However, relatively few decisions are overturned by the Appeals Council.

Federal Court Case

If you haven't been successful after requesting the Appeals Council review your case, you can file a disability case in federal court. You’re required to be represented by a licensed attorney to take this step, and disability claims that reach this level generally involve complex legal or procedural issues.

Louisiana SSI State Supplement

Some states pay substantial monthly supplements beyond the SSI payment the federal government makes. However, Louisiana offers only a small monthly supplemental payment to SSI recipients who reside in Medicaid long-term care facilities. The amount of the Louisiana SSI supplement is $8 per person.

ODAR Disability Hearing Offices in Louisiana

Disability hearings for Louisiana residents are held at one of four Office of Adjudication & Review (ODAR) offices, depending on where you live.

Alexandria ODAR

3403 Government Street
Alexandria, LA 71302
Tel: 877-748-9764

Fax: (318) 448-9842

Metairie ODAR

Galleria Building, Suite 2000
1 Galleria Blvd.
Metairie, LA 70001
Tel: 877-870-6383
Fax: (504) 219-8917

Shreveport ODAR

Louisiana Tower, Suite 700
401 Edwards St.
Shreveport, LA 71101
Tel: 866-690-1805
Fax: (318) 676-3889

New Orleans ODAR

1515 Poydras St.
New Orleans, LA 70112
Tel: 888-297-2210
Fax: (504) 589-4585

Disability Determination Services (DDS) in Louisiana

Louisiana Disability Determinations Services (DDS) is the state agency that is responsible for determining whether or not Louisiana disability applicants are eligible for benefits. DDS is operated by the Department of Children & Family Services, Economic Stability Office. There are three Louisiana DDS offices, listed below.

Baton Rouge DDS

5825 Florida Blvd., Room 2110
Baton Rouge, LA 70806
Tel: 800-256-2288

Shreveport DDS

2920 Knight St., Ste. 232
Shreveport, LA 71105
Tel: 800-256-2266

New Orleans Area DDS

3510 N. Causeway Blvd., Ste. 301
Metairie, LA 70002
Tel: 800-256-2299

Louisiana Vocational Rehabilitation

Disabled Louisiana residents have access to a variety of services designed to help them get and maintain employment through the Workforce Commission in the department of Louisiana Rehabilitation Services. This includes job readiness evaluations, vocational training, medical therapeutic services, career counseling, and job placement assistance. Louisiana Rehab Services has 15 locations throughout the state – you can use the directory on the LRS website to locate the closest one -www.lawworks.net ofc.directory. Contact information for the state LRS office is below.

Louisiana Rehabilitation Services
627 North 4th Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
Tel: (225) 219-2225
Fax: (225) 219-4993

Louisiana Disability Attorneys

If you have questions about your disability claim or you were denied benefits, an experienced Louisiana disability lawyer can help. See our Louisiana disability lawyers page to arrange a free consultation with a lawyer on your area.

by: , Contributing Author

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