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 Delaware – 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 Delaware 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 Delaware below.

Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits in Delaware – 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 [STATE NAME] 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)
Delaware39.2%12.0%57.7%
National Average35.6%12.6%53.9%
State Difference:3.6%-0.7%3.8%

As the table shows, in 2018, Delaware was a decently ahead of the national average approval rates at the Initial Application level, slightly behind at Reconsideration, and ahead (again, solidly) of the national average for Hearing approvals.

Delaware Initial Application Approval Over Time

Initial Application Approval Rate201820172016201520142013201220112010
Delaware39.2%38.2%35.5%36.2%32.0%31.8%34.3%34.2%38.8%
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, Delaware has been close to the national average, and in a number of years, slightly ahead of the national average, for approvals of Initial Applications going back to at least 2010. In 2018, Delaware ranked 18th in the nation in terms of percentage approval of Initial Applications. While approval rates have improved in Delaware over the last few years, and are still slightly ahead of the the national average, it is clear that still slightly less than 4 in 10 initial applications are approved in Delware. If you are thinking of applying for SSDI, don’t worry – there are multiple stages to the application process.

Delaware Reconsideration Approval Over Time

Reconsideration Approval Rate201820172016201520142013201220112010
Delaware12.0%13.5%10.6%11.1%10.3%8.2%9.9%10.2%10.1%
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, Delaware has generally lagged behind the national average when it comes to approvals at the Reconsideration level. In 2018, Delaware ranked 32nd in the nation for highest percentage of approvals at Reconsideration. However, as you can see, 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.

Delaware Hearings Approval Over Time

Hearing Approval Rate201820172016201520142013201220112010
Delaware57.7%55.3%48.7%51.2%44.7%41.8%39.6%39.8%45.5%
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, Delaware has dramatically improved its approval rates compared since 2010 when it comes to approvals at the Hearing level. Delaware was way, way behind the national average for much of last nine years; but over the last three years, Delaware’s Hearing approval rates have come well up. In 2018, Delaware ranked 13th in the nation for highest percentage of approvals at Hearings.

Also note 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.

Delaware SSDI Hearing Wait Times & Approval By Office

Delaware is part of the Social Security Administration’s “Region 3,” which is headquartered in Philadelphia. There is 1 hearing office in Delaware. You can see waiting times for hearings & case dispositions for that office below, with comparisons to the 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%
Delaware Average18.659544.0%
DOVER18.659544.0%

As the table here and the chart below indicate, in 2019, the Dover office (and thus Delaware in general) has a slightly longer wait time than the national average (Delaware ranks 36th in the nation) and has somewhat lower approval rates for hearings.

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 Delaware & The SSA Offices They Serve

These are the “Office of Hearing Operations” offices in Delaware. 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 3 Dover SSA, OHO
Suite 200 500 W. Loockerman Street
Dover, Delaware 19904
(877) 405-3671 • (302) 674-7024 • (877) 548-8803
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Serves the following Social Security Administration Field Offices:
DELAWARE: Dover, Lewes, Wilmington and MARYLAND: Cambridge

List of Social Security Administration Field Offices in Delaware

Office NameLocationAddressCityStatePhone Number
WILMINGTON DESUITE 200920 W BASIN ROADNEW CASTLEDE(866) 667-7221
DOVER DESUITE 100500 W. LOOCKERMAN ST.DOVERDE(877) 701-2141
LEWES DESUITE 10112001 OLD VINE BLVDLEWESDE(866) 864-1803
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.