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The Social Security disability approval process in Arkansas is the same as in the rest of the country since Social Security Disability (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are federal programs; however, states differ in where the claims are decided, their approval and denial rates, the amount of SSI a person can receive, and how long an appeal takes to be heard. This article discusses these differences and provides resource information for disability-related offices in Arkansas.
For the 2011 fiscal year, Arkansas's Disability Determination for Social Security Administration (DDSSA), a state agency that determines medical eligibility for Social Security and SSI disability for Arkansas residents, approved 30.3% of disability claims at the initial application level, which roughly matches the national average.
At the appeal hearing level, Arkansas administrative law judges (ALJs) awarded benefits in 62.4% of the cases heard, which is significantly higher than the national average of 50%. However, it took an average of 420 days from the time a disability claimant filed a request for hearing to the date the case was decided by an ALJ.
Some states provide a supplemental payment to the federal monthly benefit for SSI recipients; Arkansas, however, does not. This means that SSI recipients in Arkansas may receive a lower monthly benefit than those in neighboring states.
Arkansas state law limits how much medical providers can charge you to copy your medical records for you. Arkansas law allows doctors and hospitals to charge patients $0.50 a page for the first 25 pages and $0.15 a page for any additional pages. A provider may also charge a $15.00 labor fee and can ask for reimbursement for the actual cost of postage.
Social Security sends your claim to Arkansas DDSSA soon after you submit your application. You should call DDSSA with any questions you have about your application after you apply. Here is DDSSA's contact information.
Arkansas Disability Determination
701 Pulaski Street
Little Rock, AR 72201
Arkansas has two Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) locations where disability hearings are held. In addition, the Memphis and Dallas ODAR offices service some areas in Arkansas. Below are the ODAR offices' addresses.
Central Mall, Suite 475
5111 Rogers Avenue
Fort Smith, Arkansas 72903-2034
2405 Federal Office Building
700 West Capitol Avenue
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201
309 Monroe Street
Memphis, TN 3810
Phone: (866) 348-5830
Fax: (901) 523-9282
(In addition to servicing field offices in Tennessee, this hearing office services Forrest City and West Memphis, Arkansas.)
12790 Merit Drive
Dallas, Texas 75251
Telephone: (866) 331-7135
Fax: (972) 341-5153
(In addition to servicing field offices in Texas, this hearing office services Texarkana and Pine Bluff, Arkansas.)
Arkansas offers vocational rehabilitation services through the Arkansas Rehabilitation Services (ARS), which is a division of the Department of Career Education. ARS serves disabled residents by providing such services as diagnostic and educational testing, access to technology, and help with supportive housing. For more information, visit the ARS website.
Arkansas has plenty of experienced Social Security disability attorneys who can represent you in your appeal. Visit our Arkansas disability lawyers page to find a local attorney who will take your case.
by: Melissa Linebaugh, Contributing Author