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Within the United States, hundreds of thousands of disabled individuals rely on social security benefits to maintain a measure of financial security. For those who experience a disability that makes maintaining a job impossible, SSDI is often the only chance they have of remaining independent, safe, and healthy. For decades, the professionals at Leavitt & Meunier Law have been here to guide those with disabilities throughout Louisiana through the process of establishing disability and gaining the compensation they need. We’re here to ensure you understand what benefits you could receive and that you’re on the right path to getting the award you need without the stress of stumbling through the complicated, convoluted application process on your own.

What Social Security Benefits Are There for People With Disabilities?

Social security disability benefits are typically awarded to those who have a debilitating mental or physical illness that is either expected to last for a minimum of one year or result in death, leaving them unable to work a regular paying job. It’s worth noting that there are actually two types of social security benefits; SSDI and SSI.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is awarded to individuals (and certain family members) if the disabled individual has worked long enough and paid taxes on the earnings from that work. Your eligibility for this award depends mostly on how much you have paid into Social Security via your income taxes over the years, and those with low or no long-term income may find themselves ineligible for SSDI support.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI), on the other hand, may be available to disabled adults who have limited household income and few resources. This acts as an important alternative to those who have been unable to work and pay taxes due to a wide range of different reasons but still require support in the face of a serious disability.

If awarded with either of these social security disability benefits programs, the disabled person in question (as well as children or certain other family members in some cases) will receive a set monthly payment. This payment is subject to review throughout the granted period, and may be raised, lowered, or even withdrawn. It’s a tricky situation, which is why it’s always advised to work with a legal professional when applying for your SSI or SSDI benefits.

Though the programs are slightly different from one another, the medical requirements for receiving them are identical. With the help of a doctor, you must establish that you have a disability that prevents you from receiving reliable financial income. This process can be challenging at the best of times, which it’s why it’s always a good idea to work with an attorney who specializes in dealing with the application and appeal process from beginning to end. The professionals at the Leavitt & Meunier Law know the application inside and out and can walk you through the entire process. From recommending you to a doctor to accumulating and submitting your documents and paperwork, we’re here to ensure you’re getting the financial support you deserve.

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Contact Leavitt & Meunier Law today to learn more about the benefits you or your loved one may stand to gain after being diagnosed with a disability that leaves you unable to work. We’ll take a personal, in-depth look at your case and guide you through the process of gaining the financial support you need and deserve as soon as possible. The application process can be a tricky one. Still, we’re here with years of experience, dedication, and expertise to make it as smooth and easy as possible so you can find security without the stress.

Featured Image: Teerayuth Oanwong / Shutterstock

Why You Need a Social Security Disability Lawyer

Social Security disability is designed to help those who have put in their time and paid into disability during their years of employment, but who are now unable to work because of a physical or mental disability.

While this program is designed to be a safety net for hard-working Americans, going through the process of becoming eligible for Social Security disability can be very difficult, confusing, and time-consuming.

It can make sense to have an experienced guide work with you as you put together your application and seek to receive your benefits. A Social Security disability lawyer can provide guidance, support, and knowledge to help you through the required steps and give you peace-of-mind regarding the Social Security disability request process.

 

Social Security Disability Lawyers Are Familiar With the Application Process.

With almost any type of assistance program, a host of cumbersome steps are required to request and receive aid. Social Security disability is no exception.

It’s a myth that all applications are denied the first time around. However, more than two-thirds of applications are rejected after their initial review, which means there are a lot of people who are disappointed and stressed about whether they’ll be able to support themselves when their disability coverage doesn’t come through.

According to statistics from the Social Security Administration, more than 30 percent of applicants are denied for a technical (non-medical) decision before a medical determination is ever made. These technical reasons for denial can be big, and sometimes unnecessary, roadblocks – like failing to exempt the value of your car or home from your overall income/asset statement.

Knowledgeable Social Security disability lawyers have worked through the paperwork for disability claims for hundreds of clients and will be able to guide you through the application process to give you a better chance of being awarded your benefits on your first application attempt.

With a Social Security disability attorney supporting you, you’ll risk fewer missteps, like missing a filing date or leaving out critical information, both of which could mean a rejection of your application and a time-consuming appeal process.

 

A Social Security Disability Attorney Can Guide You Through the Appeal Process If Your Benefits Are Initially Denied.

If your initial benefit request was not accepted, the Social Security Administration will grant you 60 days to request an appeal/review.

During the appeal process, you’ll receive an additional set of documents to be completed and returned, as well as have the opportunity for a video or in-person hearing. While you can complete this process on your own, a Social Security disability attorney can make it easier to ensure you’re compiling all the necessary information.

The appeal process can be lengthy, with 60 days to appeal the initial denial, then 60 days between each subsequent appeal. Each delay means a longer time waiting for financial support, which can be stressful and frustrating.

 

An Attorney Can Take Your Case to Federal Court If Your Social Security Disability Benefits Are Denied.

The appeal process for Social Security disability can include up to four different levels/separate instances of review:

  • Reconsideration
  • Hearing by an administrative law judge
  • Review by the Appeals Council
  • Federal Court review

When you reach the level of federal court review, you’re essentially suing the Social Security Administration for wrongfully withholding your benefits. When you’ve reached this point, you don’t want anything to slow the process down, get in your way, or negatively impact your final appeal.

The process of participating in a federal court appeal includes making court filings and being represented in the federal court hearing. Handling the case on your own may represent to the

court that you have the ability to work, thus negating your case. An attorney’s guidance and support can be invaluable in presenting the evidence required to further your claim and increase your chance at a positive outcome.

The cost of securing an attorney may be a top-of-mind concern for disability applicants, especially because people filing for Social Security disability benefits are unable to work. However, attorneys who take on Social Security disability cases are not allowed to request upfront payment for their time from their clients.

Instead, they may receive a small upfront payment for expenses, then earn their additional payment based on whether their clients are able to secure their Social Security disability benefits.

You can complete the Social Security disability application process on your own; however, the top benefit of working with an attorney is having their guidance and support from the beginning.

With a Social Security disability lawyer supporting you through the process, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect and won’t be blindsided by a denial or a subsequent step in the appeal process.

The most important reason you NEED an experienced SS Disability attorney at the earliest possible stage of the process is for analysis, advice, and counsel as to the facts of your case and what evidence will be necessary to prove your disability. This is essential as otherwise, you could be wasting months of time during which the evidence is insufficient to prove your disability which can cost you the benefits you need so badly. The attorneys at Leavitt Meunier Law will analyze your case individually and advise you immediately as to what evidence will be necessary to win your case.

If you’re dealing with the pain and frustration of being disabled, don’t try to go through the disability application process on your own. Contact our team at Meunier Leavitt and let our knowledgeable Social Security disability attorneys support you through the disability application process.

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