Fort Smith, Arkansas ODAR Office

At the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) in Fort Smith, Arkansas, 6 different administrative law judges (ALJ) conduct Social Security Disability (SSD) hearings and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) hearings. Currently, in Fort Smith, the average wait time for a SSI or SSD hearing is 8.0 months. The average case processing time in Fort Smith is 353 days.The Fort Smith average for winning a SSI or SSD disibility hearing is 47%. Click on the name of one of the ALJs below to see detailed information about their hearing results. This information for the Fort Smith ODAR office was last updated on 5/11/2015.

SSA, Fort Smith ODAR Office
Central Mall, Suite 475
5111 Rogers Avenue
Fort Smith, Arkansas 72903-2034
View Map
Phone: (479) 452-0137 -- Fax: (479) 452-5415
eFile Fax: (877) 559-1921 (For sending evidence)

OfficeJudgesAvg. Hearing
Wait Time
Average
Processing Time
Dispositions
Per Day Per ALJ
Cases
Dismissed
Cases
Approved
Cases
Denied
Fort Smith 6 8.0 months 353 days 2.3 12% 47% 41%
Arkansas9.8 months378 days2.413%43%44%
National Average:13.3 months445 days2.118%44%38%
Hearing Wait Time: 8.00 months
Dispositions Per Day Per ALJ 2.26
Average Processing Time 353 days
Cases Pending 3028
Dispositions 1849
New Cases 1637
Hearings In Person 52%
Video Hearings 48%
Full NameDismissedApprovedDenied
Judge Ronald L Burton 14%59%26%
Judge Harold D Davis 10%41%48%
Judge Bill Jones 11%54%35%
Judge Glenn A Neel 12%47%41%
Judge Clifford Shilling 18%40%42%
Judge Edward M Starr 11%41%48%

Comments about Judges at the Fort Smith Arkansas ODAR office:

To leave your own comment, select a judge from the list above and leave a comment on that judge's page.

Judge: Edward M Starr
Date Posted: 6/19/2015 6:09:46 AM
Submited By: Leanne Freeman



I am in dier means now and about to loose everything. IM at a lose of what to do now. I was denide countinuing of my diability that I received starting March of 2007. I lost it Sep. 2012. I was told I could get a job driving, even though I have no lower reflexs abd show a drivers record in 2009 showing a violation for following to close which is a common priblem with not having the reflexes to stop in time. Other than that, I realized in my medical records after the denial, it shows multiple doctors commenting on my case, saying things that were completely false, even though I had only seen one medical doctor when I was denied. That one medical doctor, to evaluate my MS, was an Orthopedic doctor who did not speak ENGLISH well. The entire visit is undependable. I could not understand him & he had could not understand me. To top it off, the x-ray machine was BROKEN & had to at least 30+ years old.

Judge: Monica LaPolt
Date Posted: 6/16/2015 1:50:02 PM
Submited By: Anonymous



This judge is a joke, and I haven't even been in front of her yet. A "Peggy" in her office just called and told me that I had to come downtown, taking a day unpaid off work, bring my daughter (who has Down Syndrome) to show them that my daughter is disabled. As if the doctors letter showing her as having Down Syndrome wasn't enough! What does this judge think? She lost her extra chromosome since we filed the paperwork? Not only that but my wife has to take an unpaid day off work as well because someone needs to be there to take care of our daughter during the remainder of the session. All of this after 15 months of waiting for this judge to hear the appeal, and cancelling once, within 7 days of the initial appointment. It's no wonder people hate the government so much, if all government employees are as incompetent as this I now know why.

Judge: Charles L Brower
Date Posted: 5/19/2015 1:00:54 PM
Submited By:



Please hope that you dont get this judge. He was not only arrogant but also unprofessional. Talking about the case before me and how he knows shes faking it.. That he can tell when someone is in pain. Really? How can you physically see pain. Because of this judge i am bed bound, unemployed, no income, 35 and living with my parents. Im legally disabled, yet a man with no medical degree decides if i suffer or starve. I never got to bring in my witnesses, my lawyer was unprepared, ssi never sent me to their doctors, and I couldn't even read my statement.. seam fair?? What a joke.

Judge: Clifford Shilling
Date Posted: 5/19/2015 10:16:51 AM
Submited By:



Please does anyone know how long it takes to get a decision after you have a hearing with judge Shilling whom appeared to be very understanding and sympathetic but I had a hearing in February of this year and still have not heard anything. I am getting really depressed about this waiting more and more waiting seems like that's all I do is wait for help that never comes.

Judge: Bill Jones
Date Posted: 3/2/2015 1:18:27 PM
Submited By: Radha Beaty



Real good Judge. He encouraged me to graduate and I did. He could tell I have back problems. I want to help him speak to the government to help change the proscription slots to more than 6 when on Ssi. He was right I needed the insurance. Thank you so much. I want to meet you and thank you.

Judge: Ronald L Burton
Date Posted: 11/13/2014 8:29:21 PM
Submited By: Karl



My hearing was 11/7/14 Judge Burton started off the hearing with kind of ajoke smiling and making me feel at ease. He was very easy to talk to and I didn't feel like I was being looked down at. I actually felt like I was talking to anold ffriend. My hearing lasted all of 15 minuets at the most, and while a V.E. was present the judge asked him no questions and he did not speak. He said that he was going to get things expeidited for me and I should receive his written decision in the next 2 to 3 weeks. After it ended my lawyer stated that I had won. I guess in all o the nervousness I didn't catch him saying that but he did I guess. He definitely appreciates well documented cases that are easy to make a decision on I do remember that. This judge was fair kind hearted and like I stated before easy to talk to. Make sure you have your ducks in a row and all of your Dr backing you and you will have a pleasant experience with this judge. I did and would have regardless of the outcome

Judge: Monica LaPolt
Date Posted: 10/2/2014 7:12:41 AM
Submited By:



She runs a fair hearing but is severe in her rulings with a low approval rate. Not an ALJ you necessarily want to be in front of with anything but a very good case.

Judge: Larry D. Shepherd
Date Posted: 7/27/2014 6:29:07 PM
Submited By: Phil



Judge Shepherd is a Very fair man, I thank him for what he has done,

Judge: Michael S Hertzig
Date Posted: 7/8/2014 2:06:17 PM
Submited By:



This guy is a nightmare to work with, so good luck. He's completely unreasonable and will soon be facing a number of formal complaints filed with the Agency.

Judge: Monica LaPolt
Date Posted: 6/26/2014 12:57:28 PM
Submited By: Kelley Greer



After having a hearing with this ALJ which doesn't impress me that she is even considered a judge! After reading reviews on this gal, how is she still a so called "Judge?" She lied right to my face under oath at my hearing! Does she NOT know that is perjury? This gal needs to lose her title, and her job with her dishonest behavior! I was lied to by several in this office and nobody knows what they are doing! I've taken my complaint higher to the Indiana Bar, I would be happy to see this gal lose her job and legal license! Unreal!! Why is a "judge" allowed to lie??? I shall keep you posted that whole office needs to be investigated and further more-jobless!! Give the jobs to honest Americans that wl do the job!! Sometimes authority gets ya "judge!"

Judge: Monica LaPolt
Date Posted: 4/6/2014 5:36:05 AM
Submited By:



She dismissed my doctors recommendations and decided to think she was my doctors. Denied by her with untrue things in denial letter. I really think she didn't read my file right as she stated as she said I was still doing some hobbies which it clearly stated I have not done them in years. Anyway federal appeal ruled she was wrong so that tells you right there she doesn't do her job right and should find another job. If denied by her take it to federal and you will win.

Judge: Monica LaPolt
Date Posted: 3/10/2014 2:18:35 PM
Submited By: Sharon Hummel



This judge is a joke! She threw out or had a negative response to everything in my file. I couldn't believe the untrue or negative responses in my denial letter. Someone isn't doing their job properly. Threw out both of my doctors responses, said I was a liar, my daughter and sister. I am very sick have been for a long time now and no one will help me. I am about to loose my house and anything I have. I have worked my entire life very hard and to be treated like this is a insult. This judge needs replaced. They need to take in to account their responses. I would be interested in knowing how many suicides occur from judges and doctors that seem like their only goal is to kick you when your down. Be a professional like you are supposed to be!!!! I am very angry how good people are treated from judges and doctors, people we are suppose to respect.

Judge: Edward M Starr
Date Posted: 2/23/2014 8:23:25 PM
Submited By:



I think judge Starr was very unfair, my husband is deathly ill, he worked 38 years and paid into social security but will probably die before he receives benefits. This is the way people that work all of their lives are treated? We'll thanks alot. I have seen people that are healthier than my husband prob healthier than me receive benefits, I guess judge Starr feels that because my husband went to work sick or not for 38 years that he doesn't deserve what he paid into social security benefits. He can't work anymore and deserves his benefits before he dies, it's so sad to watch him deteriorate and nothing that I can do to help him. Thanks judge Starr for nothing

Judge: Charles L Brower
Date Posted: 2/4/2014 6:16:48 PM
Submited By:



Judge Brower started my hearing by asking about how I was and breaking the ice with Super Bowl small talk. He asked why I thought I was disabled and I went on to explain. He sincerely viewed all the medical evidence that my lawyers turned in prior to the hearing And asked me questions about my various Dr. visits. There was some evidence and things I said, however, that did make him have some doubts about the validity of my claim. In the end he gave Me sufficient opportunity to explain myself and he took my sincerity into serious consideration in regards to making his final decision. He apologized for upsetting me emotionally and thanked me for "fighting for myself". Things look very good. He's a good and fair judge.

Judge: Monica LaPolt
Date Posted: 2/4/2014 12:00:43 PM
Submited By:



I thought she was very nice and understanding. She was very knowlegable about my file and all the evidence included. I have not yet receieved a decision, but felt she was fair during the hearing.

Judge: Gary L Vanderhoof
Date Posted: 2/3/2014 10:42:13 AM
Submited By: Frieda Parson



Wow I was sitting here reading everyone's comments about this ALJ I was denied also and I have stage 3 colon cancer and have a statement from my treating doctor stating I was permanently disable and he threw that out so I'm going through the appeal process I hope each and everyone of you guys appeal your cases because I don't think his decisions was the right decision on all of our cases

Judge: Edward M Starr
Date Posted: 11/6/2013 9:23:33 PM
Submited By: Regina



This judge was very fair. He listened to everything my attorney, as well as I had to say. I have a rate illness that cause me to have many secondary illnesses secondary that primary illness. He asked many questions. He read my file before the hearing, and had many questions for me. He was very timely, and fair. He even apologized for the amount of time I had waited on a hearing (right at a year), and he knew it was hard to attend the heating. He would make the hearing as brief as he could. Went nicely, and he is a very caring professional man. And when I received my approval I was pleased to see my real diagnosis on there even as rare as it is.

Judge: Clifford Shilling
Date Posted: 8/21/2013 5:52:33 AM
Submited By: Willie



well of course I thought he was a great judge, he understood the truth and made a fair decision....what more could you ask for in a judge?

Judge: Harold D Davis
Date Posted: 5/22/2013 7:13:34 AM
Submited By:



As a rep I have had several cases with Judge Davis. He will typically call you in ahead of time, make sure you understand that he doesn't allow leading questions and doesn't want you to elicit extremely emotional testimony about suicide attempts, etc. He generally does not ask for opening statement. He begins questioning with a nice, easy pace; his questions are very clear and straightforward covering the basics about onset and impairments. He likes documentation re any income after onset (STD, LTD, WC, UE, etc). If client is 50+ and has good strong work history it's a plus. He usually has a VE and likes to do hearings that take about 30-45 min. I have found him to be very pleasant, very fair and he does a good job.

Judge: David W Engel
Date Posted: 3/27/2013 6:56:35 AM
Submited By:



This ALJ is thorough and methodical. Will ask for opening statement and do general questioning. Usually does one hypo based on DDS opinions of RFC and one based on FCE or client's testimony.

Judge: Monica LaPolt
Date Posted: 3/18/2013 2:45:24 PM
Submited By:



Her numbers say it, 25% you are going in just to make a record to appeal. She will interrupt you often. She pulls a lot of negatives out of the file so be prepared for drug/alochol and yes prison time even though it is outside the time frame of an AOD or PFD. She will also have the VE classify work as PRW although it doesnt fit SS definitions of PRW. If your client worked doing anything at all for any length of time it is PRW.

Judge: Monica LaPolt
Date Posted: 3/18/2013 2:39:59 PM
Submited By:



She is the new CJ in Indy. VERY NICE!!! But she specifically asked me to let the other attorneys know that she expects you and the claimant to be at hearing and ready to go 30 minutes prior to the hearing time. The notice says that, and she EXPECTS that! She asks most questions, then turns it over to attorney. AND she told me she does not want me to get testimony regarding what doctors have told them, or what she could read in the medical evidence.

Judge: Monica LaPolt
Date Posted: 3/18/2013 2:39:20 PM
Submited By:



nice judge, she knows the file, usually will let you cover sections on limitations and adl's. Moves quickly through the hearing.

Judge: Bill Jones
Date Posted: 2/20/2013 11:36:02 AM
Submited By:



Exceptional Judge!!!!! He showed me what a real judge is. Almost like a dectective who would get his feet muddy out in the sticks to find the truth and make sure justic is served. He should be more than a disability Judge. He is the man to Protect children and the left behind citizens of this country. Keep up the good work. I second the first post Professional effecient and Friendly.

Judge: Bill Jones
Date Posted: 1/24/2013 10:28:52 AM
Submited By:



Very professional, efficient, and friendly.

Judge: Gary L Vanderhoof
Date Posted: 1/10/2013 10:13:30 AM
Submited By:



Judge Vanderhoof statistically denies almost everyone. You are very unlucky if you have him. Apparently he is dumped in the Corpus Christi, Texas area so he does not deny everyone in San Antonio, Texas.

Judge: Clifford Shilling
Date Posted: 1/3/2013 2:54:40 PM
Submited By:



Great Judge. Very understanding

Judge: Bill Jones
Date Posted: 12/21/2012 8:53:55 PM
Submited By:



Nice Judge. Don't try to give him any bull though.

Judge: Gary L Vanderhoof
Date Posted: 12/11/2012 7:02:10 AM
Submited By:



Judge Vanderhoof denied my case, I have medical evidence that shows 3 different dissabilities,Essential tremors,Anxiety disorder and Degenerative Arthritis and he still denied me. When I did receive my letter of denial he failed to mention in the report my Degenerative Arthritis which would have qualified me. I have trouble walking,sitting,standing because of my arthritis,my body is in a constent tremor which keeps me from holding an eating utensil or a pen to sign my name if I need to,my Anxiety disorder is because I cannot function like I use to. Why I was denied I will never know.

Judge: Monica LaPolt
Date Posted: 12/4/2012 1:11:03 AM
Submited By: Fred F.



I had Judge LaPolt as my disability judge and thought that she ignored my medical records and letters from employers about my disabilities.I am a diabetic and have denegenitive disc disease the lower 3 discs in my back are black on xrays and MRI's.She ignored these findings in all of my evidence presented to her.Her letter to me in my denial letter were very upsetting and I have lost my house and wife for her unprofessionable findings.I hope she gets into another type of law before she ruins more lives like mine.

Judge: Gary L Vanderhoof
Date Posted: 12/2/2012 7:00:02 PM
Submited By:



The guy denied my claim, based on not believing the psychiatric evidence that clearly showed my severe depression and my inabiity to work.Funny how a guy that needs a psychiatrist himself gets to deny my psychiatric case

Judge: Michael S Hertzig
Date Posted: 11/26/2012 4:53:52 PM
Submited By:



My hearing lasted almost an hour and a half in front of this judge. My attorney presented medical evidence from my medical records proving I was diagnosed with PTSD and Bipolar disorder. The vocational expert testified that I could get a job but not maintain it. After waiting 2 months he is requested a supplemental hearing and is now ordering that a medical expert be present and another vocation expert! It's already proven that I am disabled according to SSA guidelines yet he is still requesting another hearing when nothing has changed.

Judge: David W Engel
Date Posted: 9/27/2012 6:27:50 AM
Submited By:



Fair judge, but be ready to address unemployment, inconsistent statements in the file, or drug and alcohol issues. He does not overlook that kind of thing at his hearings but tends to be cool that hit those issues head on honestlyrather than try to cover them up as if they did not exist.

Judge: David W Engel
Date Posted: 9/17/2012 7:14:42 PM
Submited By: Bibin



With all these silly websites, such a great page keeps my interent hope alive.

Judge: Larry D. Shepherd
Date Posted: 9/16/2012 6:19:48 AM
Submited By: Ronbo



Judge Shepherd was fair to me with my claim that took a year from filling date to a decision, But very slow getting out decision letter

Judge: Larry D. Shepherd
Date Posted: 7/3/2012 8:29:23 AM
Submited By:



Judge Shepherd undoubtedly has never cleaned toilets for a living and undoubtedly has no idea of the physical capacity requirements for the one who so cleans. Too bad I can't show him how.

Judge: David W Engel
Date Posted: 6/9/2012 8:22:36 PM
Submited By:



A lot nicer than wolfe but approves less cases. Pretty cool judge.

Judge: Larry D. Shepherd
Date Posted: 4/11/2012 3:19:21 PM
Submited By:



Judge Shepherd gave careful consideration to what is a very long and tedious process. His decision was based on 15 years of medical history and it truely a life changer for my wife and our family. It will ease the burden most of us face to survive, especially in this bad economy, and allow us to enjoy the little things in life that we have struggled with over the past 5 to 6 years. I want him to know he has made a positive difference in our lives.