Social Security Disability (SSD) provides financial assistance to people unable to work due to a severe medical condition. The program is designed to support those who have worked and paid Social Security taxes but are now disabled and unable to continue working.

Unfortunately, many SSD applicants encounter challenges when applying for the benefits they’re entitled to. At Dudley DeBosier, we have a dedicated team of Baton Rouge Social Security Disability lawyers ready to guide you through every step of your claim, working tirelessly to ensure you receive the benefits you are entitled to.

With our in-depth understanding of Social Security Disability benefits and a proven track record of positive outcomes for our clients, we can help you through this often complex process.

Contact us today for a free consultation.

The Social Security Administration Definition of Disability

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has its own definition of disability, which differs from other programs. SSD benefits are only for total, long-term disability. You qualify if:

  • You have a medical condition that prevents substantial gainful activity (SGA).
  • Your condition prevents you from doing your previous job or doing a new job.
  • Your condition has lasted or is expected to last at least a year or result in death.

The SSA assumes working families have other resources, like workers’ comp, insurance, savings, and investments, for short-term disabilities.

How Disability Pay Is Calculated

SSDI benefits are based on your average earnings from jobs where you paid Social Security taxes. The SSA adjusts your past earnings for inflation and calculates your average earnings from your 35 highest-earning years.

In 2024, different percentages are applied to parts of your average earnings:

  • 90% of the first $1,174
  • 32% of the amount between $1,174 and $7,078
  • 15% of the amount above $7,078

These amounts are then added together to determine your monthly benefit amount.

How the SSA Decides If You Have a Qualifying Disability

If you have enough work history, the SSA uses a five-step process to decide if you qualify for disability benefits:

  1. Do You Currently Work?
    1. The SSA checks if you are earning above the SGA level. In 2024, you must earn less than $1,550 a month ($2,590 if blind) to qualify. If you earn less, your application goes to the Disability Determination Services (DDS).
  2. Is Your Condition Severe?
    1. Your condition must significantly limit basic work activities like lifting, standing, or remembering for at least 12 months. If it does, the SSA considers your condition.
  3. Is Your Condition Listed?
    1. The SSA lists medical conditions that are severe enough to qualify. If your condition is on the list or as severe as those listed, you qualify. If not, the SSA moves to the next step.
  4. Can You Do Your Previous Work?
    1. The SSA evaluates if your medical condition prevents you from doing your past work. If you can still do your past work, you are not considered disabled. If you cannot, the SSA moves to the final step.
  5. Can You Do Any Other Work?
    1. The SSA checks if you can do any other type of work considering your condition, age, education, and skills. If you can’t, you qualify for disability benefits. If you can, your claim is denied.

Social Security Disability offers special considerations for certain groups. Blind or visually impaired individuals have a higher earnings limit ($2,590 in 2024). Additionally, benefits are available for surviving spouses and children with disabilities. Finally, wounded warriors and veterans can qualify for additional support.

If you’re considering filing an SSD claim or appealing a denial, contact Dudley DeBosier today for a free consultation.

Why Choose Dudley DeBosier?

The complexity of a Social Security Disability claim requires experienced Baton Rouge disability lawyers who can effectively fight for your rights. At Dudley DeBosier, our team is dedicated and knowledgeable, ready to go to battle for your benefits.

We bring years of experience and expertise in handling Social Security Disability cases, ensuring every claim receives the meticulous care and attention it deserves. Our success stories, client testimonials, and proven track record in Baton Rouge and its surrounding areas speak volumes about our top-notch representation and client satisfaction.

The Social Security Disability application process can be overwhelming, which is why you need a team of experts on your side. We will guide you through the process, from the initial application to any necessary appeals.

The Benefits of Hiring a Social Security Disability Lawyer

Hiring a Social Security Disability lawyer in Baton Rouge can provide numerous benefits when dealing with the complexities of SSDI claims. Here are some key advantages:

Increased Chances of Claim Approval: With the expertise of a disability lawyer, you can significantly increase your chances of claim approval. Our lawyers understand the application process and can help you gather the necessary evidence.

Simplification of Legal Procedures and Paperwork: A knowledgeable disability lawyer can handle all the complex legal procedures on your behalf. We can ensure accurate and timely submission of all paperwork and guide you through the process.

Representation During Appeals and Hearings: If your initial claim is denied, a Social Security Disability lawyer can represent you during the appeals process and hearings, advocating for your rights and presenting a compelling case to the administrative law judge.

Contact Our Baton Rouge SSD Lawyers Today

By hiring a Social Security Disability lawyer in Baton Rouge, you gain a dedicated professional on your side, fighting for your rights. This can maximize your chances of a successful application and save you months or more of frustration.

Whether you’re applying for SSD benefits for the first time or appealing a denied claim, we can help. Contact our team at Dudley DeBosier to schedule a free consultation.