Social Security Disability Attorney
Louisiana SSI / SSDI Lawyer
If you suffer from a physical or mental disability, you may be eligible to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplement Security Income (SSI) benefits. However, first-time applicants are often denied and must appeal their decision before they receive benefits. At the law office of Steve LeBlanc, we work closely with disabled clients in applying for and appealing decisions regarding Social Security benefits. If you suffer from a medical condition that requires diagnostic testing to diagnose it, Mr. LeBlanc can help you locate appropriate medical specialists. If you have already been denied Social Security benefits, we can handle your appeals.
Securing social security disability benefits demands preparation, patience, and time. Don’t get discouraged – contact social security benefits attorney Steve LeBlanc today for a free phone consultation regarding your case.
What happens if I have to Appeal?
Appeals are common when applying for Social Security Disability benefits. Typically, there are five stages which an application can go through:
1. The initial application – Your initial application is reviewed to determine if you are qualified to receive Social Security Disability benefits.
2. First level appeal – If your initial application is denied, you have 60 days to request another evaluation of your case. You can introduce medical records and additional evidence / information regarding your condition at this level of appeal.
3. Administrative Hearing appeal – If you are denied at the first level of appeal, you have 60 days to request an administrative hearing appeal. An administrative law judge will evaluate the evidence submitted to him or her, as well as any testimony offered by your doctor. The judge will base his or her decision on the evidence presented, ignoring reasons given at your previous hearing or during your initial application. Consequently, the administrative hearing appeal often represents the best chance for having your application approved.
4. The Appeals Council Review – If an administrative law judge denies your appeal you have 60 days to ask the Social Security Administration’s Appeal Council to review your application. Unfortunately, new evidence cannot be presented to the Review Council; rather, the Review Council will review documentation and information already provided in your case. In fact, the only thing you can submit is a written argument stating why you believe you should be given Social Security Disability benefits.
5. Federal Court review – If the Review Council rejects your application, you have 60 days to file an appeal with the District Federal Court of Appeals in your jurisdiction. No new evidence will be presented or considered. In fact, the only document reviewed by the Federal Court is the transcript from your administrative law hearing and your medical records.
Does “Disabled” mean “Unable to Work?”
The short answer is “no.” People who suffer from physical and mental disabilities do not have to be incapacitated or unable to work at all to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. How much you can work is limited but you needn’t refrain from working altogether to receive benefits.
Additionally, you may have a disability that qualifies you for benefits and not even be aware of it. There are a number of physical and mental conditions listed by the Social Security Administration that qualify people for disability benefits. As your attorney, Mr. LeBlanc will evaluate your situation and assist you in the application process.
To schedule an appointment to discuss your case, contact Social Security Disability benefits attorney Steve LeBlanc today.