If you live in Arkansas and you are unable to work and earn a living, you may qualify for disability benefits administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Social Security Disability benefits are a federal program, so they are available to individuals throughout the country and in every state.
To have your claim approved, you must meet specific criteria and have hard medical evidence to support your claim, showing the severity of your condition and confirming that you are unable to work and earn a living. Without supporting medical evidence, your claim will be denied.
Social Security Disability Benefits in Arkansas
You can file for disability benefits online or by phone at 800-772-1213. You can also file by visiting a field office.
There are 17 SSA field offices in Arkansas. These offices are in Batesville, Blytheville, Conway, El Dorado, Fayetteville, Forrest City, Ft. Smith, Harrison, Hot Springs, Jonesboro, Little Rock, Mountain Home, Pine Bluff, Russellville, Searcy, North Little Rock, and West Memphis.
Each field office serves the surrounding communities. Only 33% of disability claims are approved during the initial review in Arkansas. If your claim is denied, you will be notified in writing. This letter will explain why your claim was denied and how long you have so you can file a request for reconsideration, which is called an appeal.
You will want to gather additional information to address the areas that were not fully addressed during the initial review of your disability claim. With the right supporting evidence, you are more likely to have your claim approved.
Filing an Appeal in Arkansas
In Arkansas, about 46% of claims are approved during the request for reconsideration or the appeal. These claims have the needed information to allow the disability examiner to approve the claim. The disability examiner will review all the evidence and documentation to determine you meet the criteria to qualify for disability benefits. If your claim is denied at this level, you will need to request a hearing before an administrative law judge. (ALJ).
You are more likely to be awarded benefits at the hearing level. It can take several months to get a hearing date scheduled because of the backlogs on the cases.
Offices of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) in Arkansas are in Fort Smith, which serves Fort Smith, Fayetteville, and Harrison. The ODAR in Little Rock serves Batesville, Blytheville, Camden, Conway, El Dorado, Hot Springs, Jonesboro, Little Rock, Little Rock – North, and Searcy.
When you go for a hearing, you will appear before a judge who will ask you questions about your disability. There will most likely be a vocational expert in attendance who will review your file and determine what kind of work – or if there is any kind of work – you are capable of doing. A disability attorney can help you prepare for the hearing and will represent you throughout the hearing.
Hard medical evidence includes physician notes, treatment records, surgical reports if applicable, imaging reports, lab results, pathology reports if applicable, and any other details regarding your diagnosis, prognosis, the severity of your condition, and any symptoms or side effects. The more details that you can provide, and the more evidence that you have that will back up your claim, the more likely you are to be awarded monthly disability benefits. You can use your monthly benefits to help you with your medical care and to help with basic living expenses.
Help Filing For Disability Benefits in Arkansas
A lawyer may be able to help you with your disability claim in Arkansas. Studies have revealed that claimants who had legal representation were more likely to have their claims approved. The SSA has also released data showing the likelihood of being awarded disability benefits increases greatly after you have enlisted legal representation to walk you through the claims process.
An attorney can make sure your file includes all the needed evidence and documentation to support your claim. If your file is lacking evidence, they can help you obtain what you need to support your disability claim. When you retain a disability lawyer, they can take the case on a contingency basis, so you will not have to pay out anything until you are awarded disability benefits.
If you live in Arkansas and you are ready to apply for disability benefits, complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page. The details of your disability claim will be shared with an independent, participating disability attorney that subscribes to the website. Get your disability claim in Arkansas underway today.