Table of Contents
If you live in the state of Louisiana and suffer from a disability, illness, or debilitating condition that prevents you from working, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.
Although SSDI is a federal program, the state of Louisiana administers Social Security disability benefits through its own state office, which is responsible both for determining eligibility and dispensing benefits payments for Louisiana residents.
In Louisiana, the state’s Disability Determination Services is the agency that reviews all SSDI applications, issues determinations as to eligibility, and ultimately awards Social Security disability benefits.
Disability Determination Services currently has three offices across the state, located in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Shreveport. If you choose to pursue SSDI benefits in Louisiana, you may do so with or without the assistance of a lawyer.
Facts About Louisiana
On average in the United States, approximately 25.6% of adults report having a disability, compared to the 32.3% of Louisiana residents who report a disability. These disabilities lead to around $6.6 billion in health care expenditures across the state each year.
Despite making some progress, a person in Louisiana with a disability remains more likely to report markedly different health-related behaviors than a person without a disability. For example, disabled adults are more likely to smoke, be inactive, have high blood pressure, and be obese.
How To Qualify for SSDI in Louisiana
Since SSDI is a federal program, eligibility requirements are the same from state to state.
The claimant must have worked for a sufficient period of time and paid sufficient Social Security taxes on earnings, which earns work credits and provides funding for the program. The number of work credits you need to qualify for SSDI benefits is generally around 40, 20 of which were earned during the last 10 years, ending in the year you became disabled.
The amount of work you must complete to earn credits changes from year to year. For 2021, an employee accrues one credit for each $1,470 in wages or self-employment income earned.
You must also show a documented medical condition that meets the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability:
- Your medical condition prevents you from doing work you were able to do before the condition
- Due to your medical condition, you are unable to switch to a different type of work
- Your medical condition either has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year
The SSA definition of disability is extremely strict. The SSA will not pay a partial disability benefit – the program supports total disability only. If you choose to seek legal advice at this point, a qualified disability attorney can help you determine whether your existing medical records and other medical evidence are likely to lead to an approved disability claim.
How To Apply for SSDI in Louisiana
An applicant may submit a claim for SSDI benefits in Louisiana via any of the following methods:
- File an application in person at any local Social Security office located throughout the state
- Apply online at www.ssa.gov
- Apply over the phone by calling 800-772-1213
Though SSDI was conceived at the federal level and must follow federal guidelines, the particulars associated with eligibility and payment of benefits are handled through Louisiana’s DDS. You may submit your disability claim on your own, though some applicants choose to work with a disability lawyer to develop their initial disability claim.
How To Appeal a Denial in Louisiana
You have the right to appeal a decision related to your SSDI disability claim. Approximately 58% of people who apply for SSDI benefits in Louisiana have their initial applications denied. If this is your situation, you may request for your case to be reviewed by Louisiana’s Disability Determination Services.
If Disability Determination Services then confirms the original ruling or issues a second decision that you’d like to appeal, you may request that you be granted a disability hearing with the Office of Hearings Operations. For many applicants, this is a good time to work with a qualified and knowledgeable disability attorney to strengthen your disability claim for reconsideration.
More Louisiana Benefits
If you are dealing with a disability that affects your ability to work, SSDI isn’t your only option. Below we’ve outlined other Louisiana benefits programs that may apply in your situation.
Supplemental Security Income is an additional federal program designed to help provide financial stability for Americans with disabilities who fall below specified income limits. These benefits also help those who are age 65 and older, without disabilities, who meet the program’s financial eligibility requirements.
While SSI is a federal program, some states choose to supplement the base SSI payment. In Louisiana, the additional supplement is paid only to SSI recipients who live in a nursing home paid for by Medicaid. The Louisiana supplement amounts to an additional $8 per month, added to the federal payment of $771 per month.
Louisiana Medicaid is a state-federal partnership with program parameters set at the federal level and administered at the state level. Designed to help ensure appropriate health care for the nation’s most vulnerable residents, Medicaid in Louisiana operates within the Louisiana Department of Health, helping make sure thousands of Louisiana residents have access to reliable health care each year.
In Louisiana, you qualify to receive Medicaid if you meet the following requirements:
- Receive SSI support from the Social Security Administration
- Receive financial assistance from the Office of Family Support through the Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program
- The following may also help you qualify for Medicaid in Louisiana:
- You are disabled according to the SSA definition
- You have corrected vision no better than 20/200
- You are a low-income parent of children under age 19
- You are a child under age 19 yourself
- You are currently pregnant
- You have no health insurance and need treatment for breast and/or cervical cancer
- You receive Medicare coverage and are classified as a low-income household
- You are age 19 to 64, have a household income less than 138% of the federal poverty level, don’t already qualify for Medicaid or Medicare, and meet citizenship requirements
The Louisiana Workforce Commission administers the Louisiana unemployment program, designed to help provide a financial bridge for unemployed workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.
To qualify for unemployment benefits, Louisiana residents must show that their work hours are dramatically reduced or eliminated and that they are physically and mentally able to work. The program reduces the negative impact of unemployment on individual families and improves the overall Louisiana economy.
Louisiana Social Security Offices
|SSA Field Office Locations in Louisiana|
|Minden SSA Office||103 MBL Bank Drive|
Minden, LA 71055
|New Orleans Dwntwn SSA Office||400 Poydras St Ste 500|
New Orleans, LA 70130
|Shreveport SSA Office||1240 S Pointe Pkwy|
Shreveport, LA 71105
|Monroe SSA Office||1120 Plaza Blvd|
Monroe, LA 71201
|Baton Rouge SSA Office||5455 Bankers Ave|
Baton Rouge, LA 70808
|Alexandria SSA Office||3401 North Blvd|
Alexandria, LA 71301
|Lake Charles SSA Office||149 W 18Th St Suite B|
Lake Charles, LA 70601
|Lafayette SSA Office||106 Corporate Blvd|
Lafayette, LA 70508
|Houma SSA Office||178 Civic Center Blvd Ste 100|
Houma, LA 70360
|Hammond SSA Office||2100 Robin Ave|
Hammond, LA 70403
|Natchitoches SSA Office||950 Keyser Ave|
Natchitoches, LA 71457
|Opelousas SSA Office||5097 I49 S Service Rd|
Opelousas, LA 70570
|Morgan City SSA Office||1279 Clothilde St|
Morgan City, LA 70380
|Bogalusa SSA Office||438 Avenue B|
Bogalusa, LA 70427
|Orl West SSA Office||115 Terry Pkwy|
Terrytown, LA 70056
|Kenner SSA Office||1616 Joe Yenni Blvd|
Kenner, LA 70065
|Ruston SSA Office||2017 Bular St|
Ruston, LA 71270
|New Iberia SSA Office||417 Spanish Town Blvd|
New Iberia, LA 70560
|St Tammany SSA Office||64285 Highway 434|
Lacombe, LA 70445
|Leesville SSA Office||2100 Sartor St|
Leesville, LA 71446
|Baton Rouge N SSA Office||4332 Harding Blvd|
Baton Rouge, LA 70807
Louisiana Hearing and Appeal Offices
Louisiana is in Region 6 (Dallas), which services Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.
|Region 6 – SSA Office of Hearing Operations in Louisiana|
|SSA Hearing Office – Alexandria||3403 Government Street|
Alexandria, LA 71302
|SSA Hearing Office – Metairie||1 Galleria Blvd Ste 2000|
Metairie, LA 70001
|SSA Hearing Office – New Orleans||1515 Poydras St Suite 800|
New Orleans, LA 70112
|SSA Hearing Office – Shreveport||401 Edwards St Ste 700|
Shreveport, LA 71101-6129