In Louisiana, the Social Security Act provides benefits to disabled individuals under Title II (Disability Insurance Benefits) and Title XVI (Supplemental Security Income). Disability Determination Services (DDS) is the state agency responsible for determining if individuals are disabled within the Title II/XVI requirements. The majority of disability claims are handled by a network of local Social Security field offices and state organizations. Disability Determination Services is the name of the governmental agency in Louisiana (DDS). Hearing Officers in the DDS’s Hearing Units or Administrative Law Judges in the SSA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals may decide further appeals of unfavorable rulings.
How Long Does it Take to Get Approved for Disability in New Orleans?
Applying for disability, especially in New Orleans, Louisiana, can be a daunting process that is why it is usually advisable to consult a lawyer or expert while applying for this. However, there are still rigorous process involved even for an expert. Even though Louisiana has one of the shortest hearing wait periods in the country, the time between requesting a disability hearing and having your hearing will most likely be several months. In Louisiana, you can wait for up to 4 months for an initial application and 9 months or more in an appeal.
The administrative law judge (ALJ) assigned to your case will interview you about your previous job, illnesses or injuries, and what you do on a daily basis during your Social Security hearing. The Social Security Administration (SSA) may occasionally hire a doctor or a vocational (employment) expert to provide an opinion on your case. Within 30 days of your hearing date, you will get the judge’s ruling in writing. Almost half of all Louisiana Social Security disability hearings result in a positive finding for the claimant (application).
Around 58% of those who apply for disability in Louisiana have their initial applications denied. It takes an average of three to four months for this decision to arrive, and once received, you have 60 days to appeal a disability denial.
Below is a tabular representation of the disability denial index. It compares the statistics in Louisiana and on the National scale.
|STAGE OF APPLICATION||LOUISIANA||NATIONALLY|
|Reconsideration Review||not available||13%|
|Hearing Wait Time||13 months||18 months|
Testifying in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) is your only chance to explain face-to-face with a decision-maker at Social Security — not just on paper — why you need disability benefits.
It might be the most important moment in your case. Numbers from Social Security in late 2017 showed the average wait for a hearing in New Orleans was 15 months. It was 14.5 months across Louisiana and 18.3 months in Mississippi.
Note that If the ALJ does not decide in your favor, the SSA appeals procedure continues with two further steps.
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