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 Florida – 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 Florida 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 Florida below.

Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits in Florida – 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 Florida 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)
Florida34.8%12.7%54.8%
National Average35.6%12.6%53.9%
State Difference:-0.7%0.1%0.9%

As the table shows, in 2018, Florida was tracking the national averages pretty closely for approval rates at each stage of the approval process (Initial Application, Reconsideration, and Hearing). Florida was almost a full percentage point ahead of the national average for approvals at Hearing, but there’s more to this story, as Florida has 8 different hearing offices, all with different waits and approval rates (which we’ll describe below).

Florida Initial Application Approval Over Time

Initial Application Approval Rate201820172016201520142013201220112010
Florida34.8%33.5%32.2%30.7%30.6%30.8%30.5%30.2%31.6%
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, Florida has, across the state, been a few points behind the national average for approvals of Initial Applications going back to at least 2010, although Florida has closed the gap in the past few years. In 2018, Florida ranked 34th in the nation in terms of percentage approval of Initial Applications. While approval rates have improved in Florida over the last few years, they still only match the national average, meaning that about 1 in 3 initial applications are approved in Florida. If you are thinking of applying for SSDI, don’t worry – there are multiple stages to the application process.

Florida Reconsideration Approval Over Time

Reconsideration Approval Rate201820172016201520142013201220112010
Florida12.7%13.5%12.5%11.1%9.8%10.1%10.4%10.3%12.4%
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, Florida has again generally tracked the national average when it comes to approvals at the Reconsideration level, keeping within a few percentage points. In 2018, Florida ranked 29th 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.

Florida Hearings Approval Over Time

Hearing Approval Rate201820172016201520142013201220112010
Florida54.8%58.3%56.9%54.7%54.6%56.7%57.0%62.7%66.9%
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, Florida has stayed close to the national average when it comes to approvals at the Hearing level, but has managed to stay on the positive side, since 2013 being a point or so ahead of that national average. In 2018, Florida ranked 21st in the nation for highest percentage of approvals at Hearings.

However, as you’ll see below, all individual hearing offices in Florida 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 Florida 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.

Florida SSDI Hearing Wait Times & Approval By Office

Florida is part of the Social Security Administration’s “Region 4,” which is headquartered in Atlanta, George. There are 8 hearing offices in Florida. You can see waiting times for hearings & case dispositions for each office below, with comparisons to Florida 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%
Florida Average16.055944.2%
FT LAUDERDALE16.359745.2%
FORT MYERS FL12.645150.0%
JACKSONVILLE18.761739.2%
MIAMI16.857837.2%
ORLANDO16.959244.9%
ST PETERSBURG FL16.254445.6%
TALLAHASSEE FL13.646646.7%
TAMPA17.162546.4%

As the table here and the chart below indicate, in 2019, Florida is generally behind the national averages for both wait times and approval rates. The offices in Tallahassee and Fort Myers have wait times significantly below the national average and the overall Florida average. Tampa and Jacksonville, however, are the two slowest offices in the state. Florida overall ranks 34th in the Nation in terms of wait times.

Jacksonville and Miami have the lowest approval rates in 2019 so far, with Hearing-level approval rates of 39.2% and 37.2% respectively. The highest approval rate in Florida at the time of this article’s writing was Fort Myers, with a 50% approval rate.

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 Florida & The SSA Offices They Serve

These are the “Office of Hearing Operations” offices in Florida. 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 4 Fort Lauderdale SSA, OHO
Suite 1000, 10th Floor 500 East Broward Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33394
(888) 436-2637 • (954) 356-7901 • (877) 760-0003
Hours: 8:00a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Services these Social Security Field Offices:
FLORIDA: Belle Glade, Delray Beach, Ft. Lauderdale • (East & West), Melbourne, North Broward, Pembroke Pines, Port St. Lucie, South Broward, Sunrise, Vero Beach, W. Palm Beach

Hearing Office Region 4 Fort Myers SSA, OHO
2nd Floor 3650 Colonial Boulevard
Ft. Myers, Florida 33966
(888) 462-1109 • (239) 278-0684 • (877) 847-1596
Hours: 8:00a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Services these Social Security Field Offices:
FLORIDA: Ft. Myers, Naples, Port Charlotte

Hearing Office Region 4 Jacksonville SSA, OHO
DeSoto Building, Suite 400 8880 Freedom Crossing Trail
Jacksonville, Florida 32256
(866) 931-0124 • (904) 232-3961 • (877) 760-0594
Hours: 8:00a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Services these Social Security Field Offices:
FLORIDA: Deland, Gainesville, Jacksonville • (North), Jacksonville • (South), Lake City, Port Orange, St. Augustine

Hearing Office Region 4 Miami SSA, OHO
One Riverview Square, 8th Floor 333 S. Miami Avenue
Miami, Florida 33130 • (866) 964-5052
(305) 536-4788 • (877) 330-7137
Hours: 8:00a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Services these Social Security Field Offices:
FLORIDA: Allapattah, Hialeah, Key West, Little Havanna, Little River, Miami Beach, Miami • (North), Miami • (South), Perrine, Jackson Mem Site

Hearing Office Region 4 Orlando SSA, OHO
Glenridge Building, Suite 300 3505 Lake Lynda Drive
Orlando, Florida 32817-9801
(877) 833-2730 • (407) 380-3658 • (877) 330-7138
Hours: 8:00a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Services these Social Security Field Offices:
FLORIDA: Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Kissimmee, Lake Mary, Leesburg, Ocala, Orlando

Hearing Office Region 4 Tallahassee SSA, OHO
2nd Floor 1961 Quail Grove Lane
Tallahassee, Florida 32311
(888) 472-5996 • (850) 942-1034 • (877) 435-0334
Hours: 8:00a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Services these Social Security Field Offices:
FLORIDA: Marianna, Panama City, Tallahassee and GEORGIA: Thomasville

Hearing Office Region 4 Tampa SSA, OHO
Fountain Square II, Suite 200 4925 Independence Parkway
Tampa, Florida 33634 • (855) 248-0239
(813) 883-7355 • (877) 330-7844
Hours: 8:00a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Services these Social Security Field Offices:
FLORIDA: Carrollwood, Dade City, Lakeland, Sebring, Seffner, Tampa, Winter Haven

Hearing Office Region 4 St. Petersburg SSA, OHO
2nd Floor 830 Central Avenue
St. Petersburg, Florida 33701
(877) 452-4193 • (727) 893-3148 • (877) 847-1597
Hours: 8:00a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Services these Social Security Field Offices:
FLORDIA: Bradenton, Clearwater, New Port Richey, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, Venice

List of Social Security Administration Field Offices in Florida

Office NameLocationAddressCityStatePhone Number
LAKE CITY FL1348 SW BASCOM NORRISLAKE CITYFL32025(877) 600-2859
PORT ST LUCIE FL6810 S US HWY 1PORT ST LUCIEFL34952(866) 366-1627
CLEARWATER FL2340 DREW STREETCLEARWATERFL33765(800) 772-1213
LEESBURG FLSUITE 100900 N 14TH STREETLEESBURGFL34748(866) 836-3623
DELAND FL1629 S ADELLE AVEDELANDFL32720(866) 964-7396
SOUTH BROWARD FL12249 PEMBROKE RDPEMBROKE PINESFL33025(800) 772-1213
PERRINE FL11100 SW 211 STREETMIAMIFL33189(800) 772-1213
HIALEAH FL6500 W 21 COURTHIALEAHFL33016(800) 772-1213
JACKSONVILLE NORTH FL1685 DUNN AVEJACKSONVILLEFL32218(866) 635-0789
ALLAPATTAH FLGROUND FLOOR1251 NW 36TH STREETMIAMIFL33142(800) 772-1213
BRADENTON FLSUITE 1005540 SR 64 EASTBRADENTONFL34208(800) 772-1213
EAST HILLSBOROUGH FL2027 S PARSONS AVESEFFNERFL33584(800) 772-1213
LAKE MARY FL101 COMMERCE STSUITE 2001LAKE MARYFL32746(866) 964-7379
JACKSONVILLE SOUTH FLSUITE 17185 BONNEVAL ROADJACKSONVILLEFL32256(877) 409-8424
TAMPA FL3415 E FRONTAGE ROADTAMPAFL33607(800) 772-1213
ORLANDO FLSUITE 1015520 GATLIN AVEORLANDOFL32812(866) 964-6146
LAKELAND FL550 COMMERCE DRLAKELANDFL33813(800) 772-1213
TALLAHASSEE FLSTE B-122002 OLD ST AUGUSTINETALLAHASSEEFL32301(866) 248-2088
PENSACOLA FL411 W GARDEN STREETPENSACOLAFL32502(877) 505-4550
WEST PALM BEACH FLSUITE 2801 CLEMATIS STREETWEST PALM BEACHFL33401(800) 772-1213
ST PETERSBURG FL30 DR MLK ST SST PETERSBURGFL33701(800) 772-1213
GAINESVILLE FL4562 NW 13 STREETGAINESVILLEFL32609(877) 219-8323
PORT ORANGE FL4990 S CLYDE MORRIS BLPORT ORANGEFL32127(866) 210-8089
FT LAUDERDALE EAST FLSUITE 1003201 W COMMERCIAL BLVDFT LAUDERDALEFL33309(800) 772-1213
SARASOTA FLSUITE 3012001 SIESTA DRSARASOTAFL34239(800) 772-1213
PANAMA CITY FL3215 HWY 77PANAMA CITYFL32405(866) 348-5833
MIAMI NORTH FL16900 NW 12 AVEMIAMIFL33169(800) 772-1213
FORT MYERS FLFIRST FLOOR SUITE 1013650 COLONIAL BLVDFORT MYERSFL33966(800) 772-1213
MIAMI BEACH FLSUITE 2001801 ALTON RDMIAMI BEACHFL33139(800) 772-1213
MELBOURNE FL1715 W NASA BLVDMELBOURNEFL32901(866) 716-7667
OCALA FL933 E SILVER SPGS BLVDOCALAFL34470(877) 626-9911
NEW PORT RICHEY FLSUITE 1008661 CITIZENS DRIVENEW PORT RICHEYFL34654(800) 772-1213
NORTH BROWARD FL5195 COCONUT CREEK PKYMARGATEFL33063(800) 772-1213
MIAMI SOUTH FL11401 W FLAGLER STMIAMIFL33174(800) 772-1213
ST AUGUSTINE FL2428 OLD MOULTRIE ROADST AUGUSTINEFL32086(877) 405-5867
CARROLLWOOD FLSUITE 1004010 GUNN HIGHWAYTAMPAFL33618(800) 772-1213
PT CHARLOTTE FLSUITE 2001600 TAMIAMI TRAILPORT CHARLOTTEFL33948(800) 772-1213
VENICE FL

114

1435 E VENICE AVEVENICEFL34292(800) 772-1213
KISSIMMEE FL1201 E OAK STKISSIMMEEFL34744(800) 772-1213
FT WALTON BEACH FL111B RACETRACK RD NWFORT WALTON BEACHFL32547(866) 331-2194
WINTER HAVEN FL1395 NW HAVENDALE BLVDWINTER HAVENFL33881(800) 772-1213
BELLE GLADE FL925 SE 1ST STREETBELLE GLADEFL33430(800) 772-1213
DADE CITY FL36630 ADAIR ROADDADE CITYFL33525(800) 772-1213
SEBRING FL3700 COMMERCIAL DRIVESEBRINGFL33870(800) 772-1213
VERO BEACH FL724 20TH STVERO BEACHFL32960(866) 964-7414
NAPLES FLSUITE 11142659 PROFESSIONAL CIR,NAPLESFL34119(800) 772-1213
FT LAUDERDALE WSUITE 1008501 W SUNRISE BLVDPLANTATIONFL33322(800) 772-1213
MARIANNA FL4125 JIREH COURTMARIANNAFL32448(888) 397-4815
LITTLE RIVER FL8345 BISCAYNE BLVDMIAMIFL33138(800) 772-1213
SOUTH PALM BEACH FLSUITE 400621 NW 53 STBOCA RATONFL33487(800) 772-1213
LITTLE HAVANA FLSUITE 3006101 BLUE LAGOON DRIVEMIAMIFL33126(800) 772-1213
COCOA FL310 CANAVERAL GROVESCOCOAFL32926(800) 772-1213
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.