Everyone’s experience applying for Social Security Disability benefits will be unique. Part of this is because everyone’s individual medical and work history is different. But, potential applicants should also know that each state – like Arkansas – has its own story to tell in terms of social security disability benefit approval rates at each stage of the process, as well as waiting times at the hearing stage.

Why is State-by-State Information Important?

Specialized disability advocates (like us here at Citizens Disability) and Arkansas social security disability attorneys know all too well how important it is to understand that every state is different. It’s very helpful to know what the trends are, how long the wait times are from office to office, and what the different rates of approvals are.

Citizens Disability takes a data-driven approach to helping our clients. We want to make sure that we’re giving our clients the best possible advice at every step in the application process. We also work very hard to present the best possible case for each of our clients. Bringing together data from a wide variety of sources – including data like this, which comes from the Social Security Administration – allows us to make smart decisions when we present cases for our clients.

Finally, this information can be very helpful to applicants. Applying for social security benefits is likely a new experience for most applicants, and having an idea of what they can expect from the process can help them be engaged and involved participants with their advocates.

While your own journey may be different than the trends you see here, these tables and charts can help you understand what, on average, you can expect.

You will also find location and contact information for all the offices in Arkansas below.

Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits in Arkansas – What You Need To Know

There are generally three stages in the application process for Social Security Disability benefits: initial application, reconsideration, and the hearing. In this table, you can see how Arkansas compares to the national average (all states in America) when it comes to approval rates at each of those stages.

Initial Application (L1)Reconsideration (L2)Hearing (L3)
Arkansas33.5%10.4%47.9%
National Average35.6%12.6%53.9%
State Difference:-2.1%-2.3%-6.0%

As the table shows, Arkansas trails behind the national average for approvals at each stage of the process (Initial Application, Reconsideration, and Hearings). Arkansas is particularly weak, compared to the national average, for approvals at the Hearing stage.

Arkansas Initial Application Approval Over Time

Initial Application Approval Rate201820172016201520142013201220112010
Arkansas33.5%33.3%32.1%31.3%31.6%31.8%31.4%33.1%33.0%
National Average35.6%34.7%33.7%33.1%32.8%33.0%33.4%33.2%35.1%
Swipe left & right to see the whole table

As the table and the below chart show, Arkansas has been slightly behind the national average for approval of Initial Applications going back to at least 2010. In 2018, Arkansas ranked 40th in the nation in terms of percentage approval of Initial Applications. While approval rates have very slightly improved in Arkansas over the last few years, they still trail the national average, and only about 1/3 of initial applications are approved. If you are thinking of applying for SSDI, don’t worry – there are multiple stages to the application process.

Arkansas Reconsideration Approval Over Time

Reconsideration Approval Rate201820172016201520142013201220112010
Arkansas10.4%10.1%9.4%8.5%8.2%8.6%8.8%10.6%9.8%
National Average12.6%13.1%12.8%11.8%11.0%11.4%11.9%11.4%12.5%
Swipe left & right to see the whole table

As the table and the below chart indicate, Arkansas has been well below the national average when it comes to Approvals at the Reconsideration level, in some cases dropping below a 10% approval rate over the past few years. In 2018, Arkansas ranked 46th in the nation for highest percentage of approvals at Reconsideration – very close to the bottom. However, as you can see, even in general, the chances of winning approval at Reconsideration are not particularly high. That is why many applicants must continue in the next level, the Hearing.

Arkansas Hearings Approval Over Time

Hearing Approval Rate201820172016201520142013201220112010
Arkansas47.9%54.5%52.8%49.9%52.8%53.4%56.3%59.4%67.0%
National Average53.9%56.8%54.7%53.4%53.7%55.5%57.7%62.5%67.2%
Swipe left & right to see the whole table

As the table and the below chart indicate, Arkansas has (for the most part) been slightly behind the national average when it comes to approvals at the Hearing level, although in the last couple years it’s dipped even farther below the average. In 2018, Arkansas ranked 40th in the nation for highest percentage of approvals at Hearings.

However, as you’ll see below, all individual hearing offices in Arkansas are not the same – each office has its own approval rates, and almost as importantly, waiting times. Which hearing office your case is assigned to in Arkansas may have a significant bearing on your chances for approval.

Also worthy of note is the fact that past performance is only one indicator of likely outcomes; as new data comes in, you might see that a state’s performance compared to the national average has either improved or weakened.

Arkansas SSDI Hearing Wait Times & Approval By Office

Arkansas is part of the Social Security Administration’s “Region 6,” which is headquartered in Dallas, Texas. There are 2 hearing offices in Arkansas. You can see waiting times for hearings & case dispositions for each office below, with comparisons to Arkansas and National Averages.

The “Hearing Wait Time (Months)” is, on average, how long it takes in between when an applicant asks for a Hearing and when that hearing occurs.

The “Average Disposition Time (Days)” is, on average, the number of days in between when an applicant asks for a Hearing, and when the Administrative Law Judge who hears their case actually makes a decision on that case.

The “Average Approval Rate” is percentage at which cases are decided in favor of the applicant.

Hearing Wait Time (Months)Average Disposition Time (Days)Average Approval Rate (2019)
National Average15.453452.7%
Arkansas Average12.145938.7%
FORT SMITH11.143345.6%
LITTLE ROCK13.148536.1%

As the table here and the chart below indicate, in 2019, applicants in Arkansas can expect a fairly quick waiting period for a hearing – the state on the whole is below the national average, and actually ranks 4th in the national in terms of shortest waiting times. However, Arkansas lags far behind the national average in terms of approval rates at the Hearing stage. While the Fort Smith office isn’t far behind – only about 7 percentage points – the Little Rock office’s approval rates in 2019 are 14 points behind the national average.

These waiting times and approval rates only highlight how important it can be to have a qualified representative – such as an Advocate from Citizens Disability – working on your case. The Government Accountability Office has done research that shows that an applicant who has a representative has an up to three times greater chance of being approved than a person who goes it alone.


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Hearing Offices in Arkansas & The SSA Offices They Serve

These are the “Office of Hearing Operations” offices in Arkansas. These offices are where hearings are scheduled and generally conducted. Each OHO office supports a number of regional Social Security Administration field offices. You are likely (but not guaranteed) to have your hearing scheduled with a Judge who works in the OHO office that supports the SSA field office nearest to you.

Hearing Office Region 6 Fort Smith SSA, OHO
Central Mall, Suite 475, 5111 Rogers Avenue
Fort Smith, Arkansas 72903-2034
(877) 348-7549 • (479) 452-5415 • (877) 559-1921
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Field Offices Served:
ARKANSAS: Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Harrison, Mountain Home, Poteau, Russellville

Hearing Office Region 6 Little Rock SSA, OHO
2405 Federal Office Building, 700 West Capitol Avenue
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201
(866) 592-2549 • (501) 324-7137 • (877) 559-1933
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Field Offices Served:
ARKANSAS: Batesville, Blytheville, Conway, Forrest City, Hot Springs, Jonesboro, Little Rock, Pine Bluff, Searcy, Sherwood

List of Social Security Administration Field Offices in Arkansas

Office NameLocationAddressCityStatePhone Number
WEST MEMPHIS AR202B SHOPPING WAY BLVDWEST MEMPHISAR(866) 627-6994
LITTLE ROCK ARRM 1201 FEDERAL BLDG700 W CAPITOL STREETLITTLE ROCKAR(866) 593-0933
FORT SMITH AR6801 DALLAS STREETFT SMITHAR(866) 931-8374
JONESBORO AR1809 LATOURETTE DRIVEJONESBOROAR(866) 842-7369
PINE BLUFF AR3511 MARKET STREETPINE BLUFFAR(866) 563-9693
HOT SPRINGS AR112 CORPORATE TERRACEHOT SPRINGSAR(855) 531-1685
EL DORADO AR2600 W HILLSBOROEL DORADOAR(866) 526-9254
BLYTHEVILLE AR1403 S DIVISION STBLYTHEVILLEAR(866) 842-6638
FAYETTEVILLE ARSUITE 1012153 E. JOYCE BLVD.FAYETTEVILLEAR(877) 694-5493
FORREST CITY ARSUITE A965 HOLIDAY DRFORREST CITYAR(866) 964-2043
RUSSELLVILLE AR2708 E PARKWAY DRIVERUSSELLVILLEAR(877) 445-0827
BATESVILLE AR151 DRY KILN RDBATESVILLEAR(866) 816-5651
HARRISON AR131 W INDUSTRIAL PK RDHARRISONAR(877) 512-3851
SEARCY AR701 AIRPORT LOOPSEARCYAR(855) 686-1467
CONWAY AR2475 CHRISTINA LNCONWAYAR(855) 727-3599
SHERWOOD AR3608 EAST KIEHL AVESHERWOODAR(877) 512-3854
Swipe left & right to see the whole table

All data on this page is current as of July, 2019.

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About Citizens Disability, LLC:

Since 2010, Citizens Disability has been America’s premier Social Security Disability institution. Our services include helping people in applying for SSDI benefits, managing the process through Reconsideration, and representing people in person at their Hearing, and if necessary, bringing their case to the Appeals Council. Our mission is to give a voice to the millions of Americans who are disabled and unable to work, helping them receive the Social Security Disability benefits to which they may be entitled. Learn more about us and disability benefits like SSDI & SSI or give us a call (800)492-3260.