New Orleans, known locally as The Big Easy, is the largest city in the state of Louisiana and one of the largest port cities in the United States. Its economy is rooted heavily in shipping, international trade and the oil industry. It is also one of the leading corporate bases in the American South, particularly for offshore oil production.
Tourism also represents a significant portion of the local economy, with many of New Orleans’ festivals and parades (especially the Mardi Gras Parade) attended by visitors from all over the world. New Orleans has long been recognized for its distinctive culture. It is the birthplace of jazz and has had a far reaching impact on the musical and artistic culture of the United States in general and the South in particular. All of this, in addition to stunning Spanish and French Colonial period architecture serves to make New Orleans a year round destination for tourists.
The city has a diverse economy, but is relatively weak in manufacturing compared to other cities of its size. In addition to private employers, many of the area’s residents are employed in public service such as education and health care.
New Orleans was devastated in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina. This disaster led to the exodus of much of the city’s population. While many residents and businesses have returned, the Big Easy is still far from reaching the level of population or economic activity which it enjoyed before the catastrophic storm. Many were killed during Katrina. Many more suffered disabilities.
Nearly a quarter of the working age population of New Orleans lives with a disability of one sort or another. Combines with a struggling economy which is still dealing with the fallout of Katrina, less than half (47%) of disabled persons are able to find gainful employment. Unemployment is rampant, even amongst those who are healthy, with nearly 30% of residents with no disability out of work.
Those who are unable to work due to disabilities face limited options. For those who are deemed to be completely disabled, Social Security disability is often the best option available. However, applying for benefits presents a long and often difficult process. To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you must show that your disabilities make it impossible for you to maintain substantial gainful activity (SGA) in any field for which you are qualified or could reasonably be trained.
It’s important to keep in mind when applying for Social Security disability benefits that the SSA will consider all types of work you have performed in the past and whether you could do those jobs (or jobs like them) again. They will especially consider the types of work you have performed in the past 15 years, noting whether you have been involved with physical work, sedentary work, or both.
Apply for New Orleans Social Security Disability Benefits
If you live in New Orleans and are considering applying for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA), it’s important to have your claim handled correctly right from the beginning. The best way to do that is to contact a competent New Orleans Social Security Disability lawyer. Having adequate representation doubles the chance that a claim will be accepted.
The vast majority of Social Security disability claims filed by the applicants themselves are denied, leaving you with the choice of dropping your claim or facing a lengthy (and often unsuccessful) appeals process. Less than one third of Social Security disability claims filed without the help of an attorney are approved.
If you have already filed a claim and been denied benefits, it’s not too late to benefit from the services of a New Orleans Social Security attorney. Your New Orleans disability lawyer can help you are any stage of the appeals process. It is particularly helpful to have legal representation during the hearing phase of the appeals process, as this is when you have the best chance of having a denial of benefits overturned.
Consider contacting a New Orleans Social Security lawyer directly after informing the SSA of your intent to file for disability benefits. You can notify the SSA of your intent to file at one of these locations in or near New Orleans:
New Orleans Social Security Office
1515 Poydras St., Ste 1600
New Orleans LA 70112-1279
New Orleans Social Security Disability Resources
Proper medical documentation can make or break your Social Security disability claim. Failure to follow your doctor’s instructions or to continue receiving treatment for a disabling condition can also negatively impact your chances of having a Social Security disability claim approved.
For these reasons, it’s critical that you continue to see a doctor or medical professional while you are applying for disability benefits. If you are unable to afford to continue seeing your regular doctor, consider using one of these free or low cost medical options in the New Orleans area:
Common Ground Health Clinic
P.O. Box 741801
New Orleans, LA 0174
New Orleans Dream Center
1137 St. Charles Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70130
Odyssey House Free Clinic
1125 N. Tonti
New Orleans, LA 70119
Your New Orleans Social Security Disability Claim
You are within your rights to represent yourself during the entirety of your Social Security disability claim and appeals process. However, in most cases, doing so often leads to claims being filed improperly and denied.
A New Orleans Social Security disability lawyer knows what you need to include with your claim before the SSA will approve it. He or she also knows how best to overcome a prior denial. Best of all, your New Orleans Social Security attorney’s fees are all paid out of the back pay which is due to you when you claim or appeal is approved.
Click here to receive a free evaluation of your disability claim.