Social Security

New Orleans Social Security Disability Lawyers

Helping people with disabilities in New Orleans obtain their benefits

James Gramham Law Offices Rule

Are you entitled to Social Security Disability? If a disability is preventing you from working in the same capacity as you used to be able to, and you have paid into the Social Security system, you may be eligible for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA is the government agency that determines whether a person qualifies to receive disability benefits.

Have you been denied Social Security benefits? Don't give up. Most initial applications are denied. At the Law Office of James A. Graham, our Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) lawyers understand when you should qualify for SSDI benefits. We’re skilled at ensuring you have the correct medical documentation you need. We file claims, handle denials, and argue your rights before the SSA administrative judges. Contact our New Orleans Social Security disability lawyers now to assert your rights.

What are the wage requirements for obtaining Social Security disability benefits?

James Gramham Law Offices Rule

To receive disability benefits, you must first show that you are “insured.” This means that you need to show you worked long enough and recently enough to qualify. Normally, the SSA will review your Social Security payments for each year that you worked.

Generally, SSA requires that you have enough work credits (up to four each year). You need to earn a specific minimum ($1,510 for 2022) to earn a credit. The number of credits you need varies depending on your age when your disability starts. Generally, you need 40 credits (10 years of work). Twenty of those credits (five years of work) need to have been earned in the last 10 years prior to the start of your disability.

It’s not just the disabled worker who may be entitled to SSDI benefits. A spouse who is 62 years or older, is disabled, or is caring for a child under 16 may also qualify for SSDI. Spouses and former spouses may be able to claim survivor’s benefits. Disabled children may also be entitled to benefits.

The following people may also qualify for SSDI:

  • Widows, widowers, and surviving spouses who are divorced may qualify if they are between 50 and 60 years old, meet the SSDI definition of disability, and disability began before or within seven years of the worker’s death.
  • A child who is a dependent of a worker who qualifies, even if the child is not disabled. The benefits continue until the child is 18. They may continue longer if the child is disabled or other conditions are met.
  • “An adult who has a disability that began before age 22 may be eligible for benefits if their parent is deceased or starts receiving retirement or disability benefits. We consider this a ‘child's’ benefit because it is paid on a parent's Social Security earnings record.”

Our New Orleans SSDI lawyers will review your work history to determine if you qualify. We’ll help you provide the documents you need to verify your work history.

What are the disability requirements for obtaining Social Security disability benefits?

Eligibility for SSDI requires that you be fully disabled and not partially disabled. A full-time disability means:

  • You can’t work or engage in substantial gainful activity because of your medical condition
  • You can’t do the job you previously did, or other work, because of your medical condition
  • Your medical condition is expected to last for one year or more, or result in death
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What types of impairments qualify me for SSDI benefits?


Disabilities include both physical and mental impairments. The SSA has a list of medical conditions, called impairments, that the agency considers “severe” enough to prevent you from engaging in substantial gainful activity. The SSA will first review if your medical condition is included in this list of impairments. If your medical condition is not on the list, then they will determine whether your condition is as severe as those on the list. They may also review whether your condition prevents you from engaging in substantial gainful activity for at least a year:

The Listing of Impairments describes, for each major body system, impairments considered severe enough to prevent an individual from doing any gainful activity (or in the case of children under age 18 applying for SSI, severe enough to cause marked and severe functional limitations).

There are separate lists for adults and for children.

The impairment list for adults includes the following types of disorders:

  1. Musculoskeletal Disorders
  2. Special Senses and Speech
  3. Respiratory Disorders
  4. Cardiovascular System
  5. Digestive System
  6. Genitourinary Disorders
  7. Hematological Disorders
  1. Skin Disorders
  2. Endocrine Disorders
  3. Congenital Disorders that Affect Multiple Body Systems
  4. Neurological Disorders
  5. Mental Disorders
  6. Cancer (Malignant Neoplastic Diseases)
  7. Immune System Disorders

We have handled many Social Security Disability (SSD) cases. Some of the disabling conditions that we have dealt with include:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Orthopedic injuries
  • Diabetes
  • Learning disabilities
  • Psychological disorders
  • Arthritis

Can my New Orleans SSDI claim be expedited?

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There are two ways to expedite your claim:

  • Compassionate Allowance. The SSA will approve some claims for extremely serious diseases (usually ones that are terminal) as soon as the diagnosis is confirmed. Some of these diseases include pancreatic cancer, acute leukemia, and Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS).
  • Quick disability determinations. The SSA uses a computer screening process to identify claims that will very likely be approved.

The SSA also carefully reviews the claims of wounded warriors, veterans, and people who are blind or have low vision.

How do your New Orleans lawyers fight for SSDI claimants?

The presentation of evidence is crucial to an individual's qualification for disability income. We’ll help you present your case in the most persuasive way. Even if you've been turned down, never give up. Let us fight for you. If you don't qualify for Social Security Disability, we will investigate whether you can receive benefits through Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Attorneys from all over the nation can say they handle SSDI claims in Louisiana. However, because the application process can be stressful and intimidating, it helps to be able to walk into your attorney's office and speak with someone face-to-face about your claim. That's why we concentrate on serving individuals locally throughout the Greater New Orleans area and elsewhere in South Louisiana.

Being a local firm, we offer personalized service to our clients. Throughout the process, we will represent you at hearings, keep in close contact with you, and stay on top of every detail. Further, we know the doctors, clinics, and other medical providers in the area, and are able to advise uninsured or financially distressed clients about available resources for free or reduced-cost healthcare treatments or prescription medications.

Do you have a Social Security Disability Insurance lawyer near me?

The Law Office of James A. Graham is located in New Orleans and serves all of South Louisiana.

For clients who are unable to travel, we can schedule phone or video conferences when needed.

Contact our skilled New Orleans Social Security disability lawyers today

We understand how scary it is to be disabled and not have an income. At the Law Office of James A. Graham, we work with your doctors to show that your disability is on the list of impairments or prevents you from working for at least one year, or will likely result in death. We’ll fight at every level of your claim to show that you qualify based on your medical conditions. Please call us or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation with a respected SSDI lawyer in New Orleans.