How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay
Hiring a Qualified Disability Lawyer in Arkansas
Claimants with representation in Arkansas tend to be approved in higher percentages, have a need for fewer appeals, and more favorable "dates of onset" (the date the disability is proven to have begun) which can result in higher back pay benefits.
Representation may be through a disability lawyer or a specialized non-attorney disability representative. Many non-attorney reps are former Social Security Administration Claims Specialists and Disability Examiners.
A qualified representative will have a knowledge of Social Security administrative law and procedures, especially with regard to how claims are approved through the Social Security listings and the medical vocational grid rules. A qualified and competent representative or lawyer will also be skilled in the ability to obtain the most relevant case evidence, analyze it correctly, and incorporate it as part of a winning strategy for a claim.
To learn about fees for representation, see: "How do disability lawyers get paid?"
If you are filing Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits in Arkansas, you should realize that your chances or being approved by the Arkansas state disability determination services agency are not exactly optimal.
Over 60% of disability cases filed in Arkansas are denied each year, and those who appeal their denials generally fare even worse at the first appeal level-—more than 80% of first appeals, also called requests for reconsideration or review, are denied as well.
However, these figures are nothing out of the ordinary, and reflect similar statistics in other states across the nation: Frankly, if you file for SSD or SSI, you will most likely fail to win benefits from your state disability determination services agency, meaning you will probably be denied at the disability application and reconsideration appeal level.
Some people even (wrongly) assume that there is some written or unwritten rule within the Social Security Administration that everyone filing for disability must automatically be denied at least once. The fact is, filing for Social Security Disability or SSI in Arkansas is normally a long, drawn-out process, and although some people are approved for benefits fairly quickly (the national average to receive any decision--an approval or denial--is three to four months), most claimants will have to appeal their case not once, but twice.
If your initial application for disability benefits has been turned down, you should think about getting a disability lawyer involved in your case.
Having a disability lawyer to help you keep on top of your case can give you the edge you need to win disability benefits. A good attorney or non-attorney disability representative specializing in these cases will know exactly what medical documentation is needed to demonstrate that your condition meets the social security administration’s definition of a disability, and can assist you in gathering this information to present upon appeal.
Your disability attorney or representative will also automatically be notified of upcoming deadlines that must be met in order for your case to move forward, and can help to ensure that you do not have to start all over at square one just because you failed to submit your papers on time.
In addition, if you have to file a second appeal, your case will be heard before a federal administrative law judge, or ALJ. While this is actually a good thing (judges are far more likely to grant disability to claimants than state disability examiners), it has been shown that cases presented by lawyers are up to 50% more likely to win than those in which the claimant has no legal representation.
In Arkansas, your chances of winning benefits from a disability judge will be far greater if you are represented by an experienced attorney or non-attorney rerpresntative who specializes in SSD/SSI cases. Claimants should be mindful of the fact that some attorneys do not specialize but, instead, handle a variety of types of cases, ranging from traffic to malpractice.
Social Security law is fairly complex, so attorneys who fit into this category should be avoided since they will seldom have any great familiarity with Social Security regulations, procedure, and court rulings. Non-attorney disability representatives, by contrast, know the federal system from a firsthand perspective of having worked in it, such as being former disability examiners (the author of SSDRC.com, Tim Moore is a former examiner).
What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?
Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?
How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?
Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved
What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?
What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?
Receiving a Disability Award Letter
Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability
Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI
Applying for disability in your state
Most popular topics on SSDRC.com
Social Security Disability SSI Questions
The listings, list of disabling impairments
Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?
Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials
How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?
How to apply for disability for a child or children
Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application
Filing for disability - when to file
How to apply for disability - where to apply
Qualifications for disability benefits
How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits
Qualifying for Disability - The Process
How to get disability for depression
Getting disability for fibromyalgia
SSI disability for children with ADHD
What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability
Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips
More Social Security Disability SSI Questions
Social Security Disability SSI definitions
What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?
New and featured pages on SSDRC.com
Who can help me file for disability?
These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.
Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
Permanent Social Security Disability
What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?
Who is eligible for SSI disability?
Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?
What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.
The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.
To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.