How to File for Social Security Disability in AR

Individuals who are unable to work in Arkansas often need to rely on Social Security Disability. However, filing for these benefits can be a significant challenge for many.

The first step to getting Social Security Disability is determining if your disability qualifies. Our firm has extensive experience in these cases and can review your medical condition to see if it meets the government’s definition of “disability.” Fortunately, numerous conditions are listed. We can then help you file your application through the means that work best for you. For the quickest turnaround, filing online is the best way to file your claim. However, if you would rather apply in person or by phone, we can help you prepare before filing. This will give you the best chance of having your claim approved on the first try.

For a free case review with our Social Security Disability attorneys, contact us by calling (479) 316-0438.

What Are the Initial Steps for Filing for Social Security Disability in Arkansas?

The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) application process is notoriously complex. SSDI provides financial assistance to people who cannot work because of a disability. The disability must also be expected to last at least one year or result in death. Fortunately, the Social Security Administration (SSA) keeps a list of criteria for what constitutes a disability. However, you will also need enough work credits to qualify.

You generally need to have earned 40 credits, 20 of which must have been earned within the last ten years before your disability. However, younger workers might qualify with fewer credits.

Our Social Security Disability lawyers can help gather documentation showing the above, increasing your chances of success. We will gather personal information, such as your Social Security number and birth certificate, as well as medical records that indicate the nature, severity, and prognosis of your disability.

By submitting these records, the SSA will have a clear picture of your diagnoses, treatment, and any issues from notes from your physicians left. The more comprehensive and detailed your evidence is, the better.

You also will need to provide detailed information about your past employment, including where you worked, the type of work you did, tax documents, and any other benefits you might have received.

How Do I Start the SSDI Application Process in Arkansas?

Fortunately, Arkansas residents can apply in several ways, depending on what best suits their needs. Whether applying online, by telephone, or in person, preparation remains important. Regardless of the method you select, our team can gather the documents mentioned above to streamline your application.

Online Applications

The SSA has simplified the application process by offering an online option. Now, you can apply for benefits from the comfort of your home. This method is particularly beneficial for those with mobility issues or who do not have transportation.

Before you begin, organize your documents and keep them near your computer. Having this information at hand will make the process much smoother.

To start, visit the SSA’s official website and locate the SSDI application section. From there, the site provides a checklist and detailed instructions on how to proceed. Once you begin, you will need to create or sign into your “My Social Security” account. Our team can help if the online portal is giving you trouble.

Telephone Applications

If you prefer to speak with someone directly or do not have reliable internet access, you can apply for SSDI benefits over the phone. Just like the online option, you need to compile all relevant documents before your call to prepare for your telephone application.

It is also a good idea to make a list of any questions you might have so that you do not forget to ask them during your conversation.

To begin, call the SSA’s toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 between 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. However, you might need to schedule a callback appointment if they are experiencing high call volumes.

In-Person Applications

Some applicants still prefer or require the in-person approach. This method allows for direct interaction with an SSA representative who can provide on-the-spot assistance and clarification. It is particularly beneficial for complex cases or when language barriers exist.

To prepare for an in-person application, our lawyers can help you collect all the necessary documents. You can also identify your nearest SSA office in advance so you are aware of its operating hours and any notices to save time.

Given the ongoing adjustments to health and safety guidelines, we also advise contacting your local SSA office to inquire about current procedures for in-person visits. In some cases, it might be best to schedule an appointment.

What is the Interview Process When Applying for Social Security Disability in Arkansas?

No matter the method you choose, you might need to be interviewed. This allows SSA representatives to gather additional information and clarify any ambiguities in your application.

Fortunately, this is not necessary in every case. If you are sent a request for an interview, our team can help you prepare and gather any documentation that was not included initially.

How Long Will I Have to Wait for a Determination for SSDI in Arkansas?

After submitting the application, there is a waiting period during which the Disability Determination Services (DDS) in Arkansas reviews the submitted evidence. During this time, they could request additional information. However, they are the body that ultimately approves or denies claims.

This phase can be lengthy, often taking several months. Your patience and responsiveness to any additional requests are crucial during this period.

However, you should receive a written notice informing them of the decision. If approved, the notice will detail the benefit amount and when payments will begin. If the application is denied, the notice will explain the reason for the denial and provide information on how to appeal the decision.

What Do I Do if My Social Security Disability Claim is Denied in Arkansas?

It is not uncommon for the SSA to initially deny applications. However, applicants have the right to appeal the decision through a multi-level appeals process.

The first step in the appeals process is to request a reconsideration. During this step, the claim will be reviewed by a new adjudicator who will conduct a complete and thorough review of the application.

If the reconsideration step leads to another denial, the applicant can then request a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). This hearing provides applicants with an opportunity to present their case in person before the ALJ.

If the ALJ denies the claim, the applicant can then request a review by the Social Security Administration’s Appeals Council. This review is conducted by a panel of experts who will examine the case and make a decision.

The final step in the appeals process is for our team to file a lawsuit in the federal district court. We will only need to take this step after all other appeals have been exhausted.

Our Arkansas Social Security Disability Lawyers Can Help You File Your Application Today

Call us today at (479) 316-0438 to receive your free case assessment with our Social Security Disability lawyers.