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SSDI benefits help Arkansas residents with a disability lasting longer than 12 months or that will eventually result in death. The disability must prevent an individual from retaining gainful employment.
Disability compensation is typically used for living expenses like housing, food, transportation, and healthcare.
Facts About Arkansas
Nationally, one in four adult Americans has some type of disability. In Arkansas, this percentage is higher at 35.2%. The Land of Opportunity (as Arkansas is nicknamed) spends around $3.7 billion per year on healthcare costs.
Social Security Disability benefits can help a beneficiary Arkansas resident with independent living and healthcare, whether they have a physical disability, learning disability, or terminal illness.
How To Qualify for SSDI in Arkansas
To qualify for SSDI benefits in Arkansas, claimants must have a disability that prevents them from working. In some cases, this may not be a specific illness like cancer or Multiple Sclerosis, but it may be a conglomeration of factors creating a low Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) for performing basic universal tasks required for employment.
Eligibility is also based on whether the applicant has earned enough Social Security credits through years of employment. The applicant must have paid enough Social Security or FICA taxes, which are deducted from each paycheck. It takes $1,470 in earnings to obtain one work credit, and applicants need 20 credits in the past decade, and 40 overall to qualify for SSDI.
How To Apply for SSDI in Arkansas
You can apply for SSDI over the phone by calling 800-772-1213 or by filling out an application on https://www.ssa.gov. There are also 17 SSA field offices throughout Arkansas where you can apply in person.
Keep in mind that SSDI is not the same as worker’s compensation, which can offer temporary disability or total disability if you are injured on the job. You don’t need to be injured on the job to file a disability claim. You just need to have a work history that shows you have paid a sufficient amount of Social Security taxes.
However, if your long-term disability was caused by your employment, you might want to seek some legal advice from a law firm specializing in SSDI claims, because they can help you assess which benefits would give you a higher monthly payment.
SSDI is also different from the disability service offered to disabled veterans after their military service, which is administered through the Department of Veterans Affairs (also known as the VA). Workers’ comp and VA benefits are handled through separate agencies, as are support services like Medicaid and SNAP benefits.
How To Appeal a Denial in Arkansas
Around 68% of SSDI applications in Arkansas are denied. This number may seem discouragingly high, but often it’s because the applicant did not include enough supporting documentation with their application.
Working with a disability attorney can go a long way toward claim approval. A lawyer can assist you in collecting documentation and properly build your case for the disability examiner.
If your application needs to go through disability adjudication, the first step you can take is to request a reconsideration by the Disability Determination Services. This allows you to provide more documentation to support your claim.
You can request a hearing in front of an ALJ or administrative law judge if you remain dissatisfied with the decision. It is recommended to have a disability lawyer for this process, especially if your appeal goes in front of the Appeals Council.
If all else fails, you can take your case to a federal district court, though this form of appeal is rather rare. If your case is ultimately denied, you can look at other options like food stamps, SSI benefits, or worker’s compensation.
More Arkansas Benefits
Unfortunately, not every disabled individual qualifies for SSDI benefits. Other benefits are available for eligible Arkansas benefits with limited financial resources, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI benefits are for low-income residents who are disabled, legally blind, or over 65 years old.
To qualify for SSI, individuals cannot have more than $2,000 ($3,000 for couples) in assets at their disposal. The SSA will check your application and see if you can collect SSI on top of your SSDI if your income level is under the threshold.
For low-income residents who need health insurance, Arkansas Medicaid provides much-needed assistance. To qualify, residents must be pregnant, responsible for a dependent 17 and younger, or disabled.
Expanded Arkansas Medicaid benefits (ACA) are available for low-income families as long as their income is below the threshold for that family size – for example, around $44,000 for a family of five.
If you qualify for SSDI benefits, you will also have Medicare coverage after two years. This is why it can help to get approved for SSI as well, because SSI beneficiaries get Medicaid right away, which can provide gap coverage while you wait.
The Arkansas Division of Workforce Services is responsible for managing Arkansas Unemployment Benefits, which helps Arkansas residents who are out of work through no fault of their own. Recipients must be actively looking for work and prove each week that they are applying for jobs.
Arkansas Social Security Offices
|SSA Field Office Locations in Arkansas|
|West Memphis SSA Office||202B Shopping Way Blvd|
West Memphis, AR 72301
|Little Rock SSA Office||700 W Capitol Street|
Rm 1201 Federal Bldg
Little Rock, AR 72201
|Fort Smith SSA Office||6801 Dallas Street|
Ft Smith, AR 72903
|Jonesboro SSA Office||1809 Latourette Drive|
Jonesboro, AR 72404
|Pine Bluff SSA Office||3511 Market Street|
Pine Bluff, AR 71601
|Hot Springs SSA Office||112 Corporate Terrace|
Hot Springs, AR 71913
|El Dorado SSA Office||2600 W Hillsboro|
El Dorado, AR 71730
|Blytheville SSA Office||1403 S Division St|
Blytheville, AR 72315
|Fayetteville SSA Office||2153 E. Joyce Blvd Suite 101|
Fayetteville, AR 72703
|Forrest City SSA Office||965 Holiday Dr Suite A|
Forrest City, AR 72335
|Russellville SSA Office||2708 E Parkway Drive|
Russellville, AR 72802
|Batesville SSA Office||151 Dry Kiln Rd|
Batesville, AR 72501
|Harrison SSA Office||131 W Industrial Pk Rd|
Harrison, AR 72601
|Searcy SSA Office||701 Airport Loop|
Searcy, AR 72143
|Conway SSA Office||2475 Christina Ln|
Conway, AR 72034
|Sherwood SSA Office||3608 East Kiehl Ave|
Sherwood, AR 72120
Arkansas Hearing and Appeal Offices
Arkansas is in Region 6 (Dallas), which services Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.
|Region 6 – SSA Office of Hearing Operations in Arkansas|
|SSA Hearing Office – Fort Smith||5111 Rogers Avenue|
Central Mall, Suite 475
Fort Smith, AR 72903-2034
|SSA Hearing Office – Little Rock||700 West Capitol Avenue|
2405 Federal Office Building
Little Rock, AR 72201