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Social Security: Introduction

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It is always in your best interest to speak with an attorney about your case. If you cannot afford an attorney, a legal aid organization may be able to represent you for free or at reduced cost. However, certain restrictions apply and they may not be able to take your case. You may also qualify for reduced-cost legal services through the LSBA's Modest Means Directory. You also have a right to represent yourself, and there are diverse services available to help you learn more.

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There are three main kinds of Social Security Benefits: Disability Benefits, Survivors Benefits, and Retirement Benefits. 

This library guide is about Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) and SSI (Supplemental Security Income) disability benefits. 

What this libguide can do:

  • Provide basic information about SSDI and SSI disability benefits in Louisiana;
  • Provide basic information on the legal process of SSDI and SSI disability benefits; and
  • Provide resources for additional information and services.

What this libguide cannot do:

  • Provide a full and complete guide to SSDI and SSI disability benefits;
  • Apply for benefits on your behalf; or
  • Replace the advice of an attorney. 

Legal issues with SSDI and SSI disability benefits are common. Some people can get SSDI and SSI disability benefits without professional legal assistance.  Those not represented by professional legal assistance are often referred to as self-represented litigants

The guide is meant to help someone who is not represented by a lawyer understand the general rules and application process of SSDI/SSI. It is not a complete guide to the law nor does it discuss every issue or aspect of the law that may affect your case.This information is not meant to replace State laws or Court Rules. The purpose of this guide is to give general information and make it easier for you to obtain benefits if you qualify.

The information in this guide is intended to provide the user with general information and not legal advice. While we strive to include the most recent information, some items may change between updating periods.  For additional resources and/or to find referrals to free or low-cost attorneys, please visit the Law Library of Louisiana's guide for self-represented litigants.


The Legal Education and Assistance Program (LEAP) is a project sponsored by the Louisiana State Bar Association, with the support of the Louisiana Library Association, the Law Library of Louisiana, LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center, Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, and Acadiana Legal Services. LEAP aims to provide support and assistance to public librarians throughout the state by providing them with the tools to help their patrons with their legal questions. LEAP understands that librarians are prohibited from providing legal advice, but instead helps them provide legal information, including referrals to attorneys.

Logos of the organizations involved in LEAP