How an Attorney Can Help You Appeal Your SSD Case in Louisiana

If medical problems make it impossible for you to work, you might be eligible to receive disability benefits that are administered through the Social Security Administration (SSA). To qualify for disability, your condition must last at least a year or longer or be terminal and you must meet specific criteria set forth in the medical guide, which is also known as the Blue Book.

Most claims are denied benefits, but you can file an appeal following that decision. When you do that, your claim will be reconsidered. When a reconsideration is denied, you will ask for a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ) at the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR).

There are many reasons that claims are denied, but some reasons are more common than others. More often than not claims are denied because hard medical evidence that show the severity of the condition are not supplied to Disability Determination Services (DDS). All your medical records need to be included so a clear picture of your condition can be understood. If you are working, your income cannot exceed the limits for substantial gainful activity (SGA) or you will not be approved for benefits because you are able to earn a living.

Another reason claims are denied is because the individual failed to continue with medical follow-up care so DDS cannot confirm that your condition is continuing or that you are unable to work. In Louisiana, about 32.6% of disability claims get approved. Then on the reconsideration level, about 23.6% of claims are approved. When the claims reach the hearing level in Louisiana, about 40.3% of claims are approved.

Disability benefits in Louisiana

Visiting the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review in Louisiana

After a claim is denied, an appeal must be filed for the claim to be reconsidered. If the claim is also denied on the reconsideration level, you can request a hearing before an ALJ at the ODAR. In Louisiana, there are four ODARs scattered throughout the state. The state as a whole has an average wait of 14.5 months for a hearing and the average processing for a claim is 467 days. In Louisiana, 38% of claims are approved on the hearing level.

The Alexandria ODAR is the largest with 13 judges. It has an average hearing wait time of 14 months and an average case approval of 37%. Alexandria ODAR reports an average processing time of 441 days.

In Metairie there is an average wait of 17 months for a hearing and 33% of cases end in approval on the hearing level. The average processing time at Metairie is 468 days.

New Orleans has 12 judges and an average 15-month wait for a hearing. It takes an average of 527 days to process a claim and there is a 43% approval rate for claims on the hearing level.

During the hearing, you will be questioned by both the ALJ and a vocational expert about your condition, limitations, restrictions, and how you are unable to work.

Getting Help from a Disability Attorney

Because of the complexity of disability claims, you should enlist the help of a disability attorney. An attorney will make sure all your medical records and documentation are in order so Disability Determination Services (DDS) can fully assess your condition and your ability to work. Your lawyer can accompany you to the local SSA office and make sure all your documents are accessible in your file.

In addition, your attorney can handle communications with the SSA representatives. Your attorney will also file any appeals and will prepare you for questioning by the ALJ and the vocational expert at the hearing. Your attorney can even help you file the initial claim and stay with you throughout the entire process.

Here are some Louisiana SSA offices:

Social Security Administration
400 Poydras Street #500
New Orleans, LA 70130
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Wednesday 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Social Security Administration
1240 S Pointe Parkway
Shreveport, LA 71105
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Wednesday 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Social Security Administration
5455 Bankers Avenue
Baton Rouge, LA 70808
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Wednesday 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

You can file your claim online at by visiting the Social Security Administration website, by calling 800-772-1213, or by visiting your local SSA office. To get in contact with an attorney, complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page today!

Helpful Resources

Applying for Disability in Louisiana
Applying for Disability in New Orleans