Louisiana Social Security Disability Claims
What is the purpose of the social security disability program?
The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs were created to provide benefits to workers and their families when a worker becomes severely disabled and can no longer work in his or her usual job, and often cannot work at all, even if accommodated. An individual must have worked a certain number of years, usually five out of the last ten, to be eligible for SSDI benefits.
Can a disabled individual receive both social security disability and workers’ compensation?
Yes, you can make a social security disability claim in Louisiana if you meet certain requirements under Louisiana law. It is possible for an injured worker who has been denied SSDI benefits to receive some or all of the medical benefits he/she is owed under workers’ compensation. It is not possible, however, to receive both Full Disability benefits and Work Injury benefits for the same disability.
How does an individual qualify for SSDI?
To be eligible for SSDI, a claimant must meet certain requirements: have a severe medical condition that has lasted, or is expected to last, at least one year or result in death; have worked five of the last ten years before becoming disabled. The insured must also be unable to work at any job due to her medical condition.
How are specific disabilities evaluated under SSDI?
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are both programs that provide benefits to those with a disability. SSDI provides insurance coverage and protection to you and your family against the loss of income if you become disabled; SSI is a need-based program for those who have little or no income due to a disability.
Some disabilities, like damage to an individual’s musculoskeletal system, are more difficult to evaluate than others. It is possible to be approved for SSDI benefits even if you have some use of your limbs or body parts.
What are the medical requirements for SSDI?
The main way in which individuals are approved for Social Security Disability Insurance is on the basis of medical evidence. A panel consisting of a doctor, a nurse practitioner, and a disability examiner will look at all relevant information to determine if an individual is eligible for SSDI benefits. This includes talking with your doctors about your symptoms and how they affect functional abilities, looking at lab results and imaging studies, reviewing treatment records, and possibly even examining you. A disability examiner also requires collateral information from individuals who are familiar with your daily activities, which is normally provided by family members or co-workers.
What criteria are used to determine eligibility for SSDI?
The Social Security Administration’s Office of Disability Adjudication and Review states that it uses five steps to review disability claims:
- Is the person working? If so, is the work substantial gainful activity? The SSA will not consider you disabled if you are earning $1010 per month (for 2008).
- Can the disability be medically proven? The SSA looks for medical evidence documenting your disabling conditions that can’t be treated with medication or surgery.
- Is the disabling condition listed by SSA as a disability? The SSA has a “Blue Book” listing conditions and diseases that meet their definition of disabling for this program. Sometimes your doctor may not think you are disabled but the SSA does, and sometimes it is the other way around. It can take time to receive a final decision at this stage.
- Can the disability prevent the person from doing past work? If yes, can the person do other work? This step is for individuals who have worked in the past but are no longer able to perform their previous job duties due to their impairment(s). The SSA will ask your treating doctor(s) and other doctors for their opinion of your abilities.
- Does the disability prevent the person from doing any type of work? This step is used if you have never worked, or if you last worked some time in the past. The SSA will look at your age, education level, and transferable job skills to determine if you can do other work.
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