The Social Security Disability Application Process
Applying for Social Security Disability in Monroe, LA
Whether you are seeking benefits through Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or via the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, there are certain steps you should take during the application process to ensure that you do not accidentally jeopardize your benefits. Applying for benefits can be tricky, and many applicants find that their initial claims are denied.
Continue reading to learn more about the Social Security disability (SSD) application process, or reach out to our Monroe SSD attorneys to learn how we can help. With decades of experience, our attorneys have the knowledge and resources to guide you through the process. We work to ensure you do not make any mistakes when applying for SSD in order to better your chance of receiving benefits. However, if your claim is denied, we can help you file an appeal.
Social Security Disability Qualifications
Before applying for SSD, you should first ensure that you are eligible for benefits. Although both Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income are federal programs, Louisiana has its own agency, Disability Determination Services (DDS), that determines whether you are eligible for SSDI or SSI benefits.
To qualify for SSDI benefits, you typically must meet the following requirements:
- You have an illness or injury that prevents you from working for at least one year or is expected to last for at least one year or end in your death
- You have earned the required work credits (earned through taxable earnings)
- Your injury or illness is a “medically determinable impairment,” meaning it meets certain requirements to be classified as a disability
To qualify for SSI benefits, you generally need to meet the following eligibility requirements:
- You have a qualifying disability that prevents you from working
- You have limited income and resources
Because SSI is a needs-based program, you do not need to have earned any work credits to qualify for benefits.
Please note that this is a very brief overview of the qualification requirements for SSDI and SSI benefits; for more information, including information unique to your situation, please contact Parker Alexander. Our Monroe Social Security disability attorneys can assist you with all aspects of the SSD application process, including determining if you are eligible for benefits.
How to Apply for Social Security Disability in Louisiana
Because Social Security disability is offered through the federal government, the application process is essentially the same regardless of where you live. In Louisiana, you may apply for SSD in three ways—online, by phone, or in person.
To apply for Social Security disability in Louisiana, you can use one of the following options:
- Online: You can apply for SSD benefits online on the Social Security Administration (SSA)’s website at www.ssa.gov.
- By Phone: To apply for Social Security disability benefits by phone, you can call (800) 772-1213.
- In Person: You can also apply for SSD benefits in person by visiting your nearest SSA office. You can find the closest SSA office at www.ssa.gov/locator.
When applying, you will need several key pieces of information, including several important documents. These may include:
- Your birth certificate or another document providing proof of birth
- Proof of citizenship or lawful resident status
- W-2 forms/self-employment tax returns for the most recent past tax year
- Medical evidence of your disability, including medical reports, test results, etc.
- An “Adult Disability Report,” which provides details of your condition and work history
- Documentation of workers’ compensation (or similar) benefits you have received
You may also be required to provide additional documentation, such as U.S. military discharge papers, pay stubs, settlement agreements, and more. Our legal team at Parker Alexander can help you properly prepare before applying for Social Security disability benefits and gather all necessary and applicable reports, documents, and information.
The Importance of Pre-Application Preparation
In Louisiana, approximately 42% of all initial Social Security disability applications are denied. This is higher than the national average of 35%. One of the most common reasons initial claims are denied is due to mistakes made during the application process.
At Parker Alexander, we can help you carefully prepare before applying for benefits. This is a critical step, as it can improve the likelihood of your application being approved. This can, in turn, allow you to start receiving benefits sooner without having to wait for an appeal hearing. The average amount of time between requesting a Social Security disability appeal and receiving an appeal hearing in Louisiana is 13 months.
Our Monroe Social Security disability lawyers understand the SSD application process; we know what information is needed and what timelines need to be followed. We know how important it is to properly prepare your claim before filing your application to help improve your chances of recovering benefits as soon as possible.
When you work with our team, we will walk you through each step, answering any questions you may have and addressing all your concerns at each stage. We do not collect any attorneys’ fees unless/until we achieve a favorable outcome in your case. This means no out-of-pocket or upfront costs for you when you choose Parker Alexander.
Learn How We Can Help You Apply for SSD Benefits Today
Whether you are unsure if you qualify for SSDI or SSI, need help with your initial application, or have had your SSD claim denied, Parker Alexander is here to help. We are well-versed in the Social Security disability system and are prepared to put decades of legal experience on your side.
We are proud of the reputation we have built within the community for caring, client-focused service and powerful representation. Our goal is to ease your stress and make this process as convenient for you as possible. To that end, we are available to meet with you after normal work hours, including on weekends. We can even travel to meet you in the hospital or at home, if necessary. Most of all, when you choose Parker Alexander, you can rest assured that you have a team you can rely on.
To learn more, including how we can help you apply for Social Security disability in Monroe, LA, call (318) 625-6262 and request a free, no-obligation consultation today.