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 Illinois – 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 Illinois 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 Illinois below.

Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits in Illinois – 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 Illinois 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)
Illinois36.8%11.4%50.4%
National Average35.6%12.6%53.9%
State Difference:1.2%-1.3%-3.5%

As the table shows, Illinois has a lower overall approval rating compared to the national average. Illinois edges out the national average at the Initial Application level slightly at 1.6%, but fall behind at the other two levels – Reconsideration and Hearing.

Illinois Initial Application Approval Over Time

Initial Application Approval Rate201820172016201520142013201220112010
Illinois36.8%36.9%33.2%34.0%33.4%31.9%32.4%30.8%33.2%
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, Illinois has been steadily improving over the years. As of 2018 Illinois’ average approval rating is better than the national average of Initial Applications going back to at least 2010. In 2018, Illinois ranked 29th in the nation in terms of percentage approval of Initial Applications. While approval rates have improved in Illinois over the last few years, they still are below the national average. If you are thinking of applying for SSDI, don’t worry – there are multiple stages to the application process.

Illinois Reconsideration Approval Over Time

Reconsideration Approval Rate201820172016201520142013201220112010
Illinois11.4%10.8%12.1%13.6%12.6%10.6%10.7%8.5%10.3%
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, Illinois has dipped above and below the national average when it comes to Approvals at the Reconsideration level. In 2018, Illinois ranked 37th 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.

Illinois Hearings Approval Over Time

Hearing Approval Rate201820172016201520142013201220112010
Illinois50.4%54.7%52.3%49.6%49.6%50.5%53.7%57.2%65.6%
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, Illinois has been consistently worse than the national average when it comes to approvals at the Hearing level. In 2018, Illinois ranked 32nd in the nation for highest percentage of approvals at Hearings.

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


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Illinois SSDI Hearing Wait Times & Approval By Office

Illinois is part of the Social Security Administration’s “Region 5,” which is headquartered in Chicago. There are 6 hearing offices in Illinois. You can see waiting times for hearings & case dispositions for each office below, with comparisons to Illinois 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%
Illinois Average15.450841.5%
CHICAGO14.052142.6%
CHICAGO NHC23.1#N/A35.1%
EVANSTON14.853248.5%
OAK BROOK15.254347.6%
ORLAND PARK12.644241.8%
PEORIA13.050333.7%

As the table here and the chart below indicate, in 2019, Illinois has the same average wait time as the National average. This is due to a single office, The Chicago NHC location, having an incredibly long average wait time of 23.1 months. The rest of the offices have below average wait times. The average approval ratings for all of the offices however are all below the national average. None of the offices reach a 50% approval rating.

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.

Hearing Offices in Illinois & The SSA Offices They Serve

These are the “Office of Hearing Operations” offices in Illinois. 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.

Regional Office Region 5 Chicago SSA, OHO
4th Floor 600 West Madison Street
Chicago, Illinois 60661
(877) 800-7576 • (312) 886-3456
Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin

Hearing Office Region 5 Chicago SSA, OHO
Citadel Building, 19th Floor 131 S. Dearborn
Chicago, Illinois 60603
(866) 964-1719 • (312) 263-7418 • (877) 670-6914
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
ILLINOIS: Chicago (Back of the Yards), Chicago (East), Chicago (Lawndale), Chicago (Loop), Chicago (Near Northwest/West Town), Chicago (Near Southwest), Chicago (South), Chicago (Southeast), Chicago (West)

National Hearing Office Region 5 Chicago SSA, OHO
NHC Suite 1500 200 West Adams
Chicago, Illinois 60606
(877) 768-5681 • (312) 660-9457 • (877) 310-0642
Hours: 8:00 am to 4:30 pm

Hearing Office Region 5 Evanston SSA, OHO
Northwestern University Research Park 1033 University Place, Suite 200
Evanston, Illinois 60201
(866) 336-6051 • (847) 869-6121 • (877) 670-6920
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
ILLINOIS: Chicago (North), Chicago (Northwest), Evanston, Freeport, Mt. Prospect, Rockford, Sterling, Waukegan, Woodstock

Hearing Office Region 5 Oak Brook SSA, OHO
Suite 201 2301 West 22nd Street
Oak Brook, Illinois 60523
(866) 964-7344 • (630) 954-2995 • (877) 670-6912
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
ILLINOIS: Aurora, Bloomingdale, Elgin, Hillside, North Riverside, Woodridge

Hearing Office Region 5 Orland Park SSA, OHO
15401 South 94th Avenue
Orland Park, Illinois 60462
(877) 490-9530 • (708) 675-3300 • (877) 670-6915
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
ILLINOIS: Champaign, Chicago (SW Suburbs), Chicago Heights, Danville, Joliet, Kankakee, Peru

Hearing Office Region 5 Peoria SSA, OHO
3328 W. Willow Knolls Drive
Peoria, Illinois 61614
(866) 726-8293 • (309) 689-9782 • (877) 670-6918
Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
ILLINOIS: Bloomington, Decatur, Galesburg, Pekin, Peoria, Rock Island, Springfield
IOWA: Davenport

List of Social Security Administration Field Offices in Illinois

Office NameLocationAddressCityStatePhone Number
CHICAGO LOOP IL605 W WASHINGTON BLVDCHICAGOIL(800) 772-1213
EAST ST LOUIS ILROOM 104 FEDERAL BLDG650 MISSOURI AVEEAST ST LOUISIL(877) 700-4849
PEORIA IL815 W PIONEER PARKWAYPEORIAIL(877) 319-6039
SPRINGFIELD IL3112 CONSTITUTION DRSPRINGFIELDIL(877) 279-9504
ROCK ISLAND IL2350 4TH AVEROCK ISLANDIL(866) 414-9166
QUINCY IL2401 LIND STREETQUINCYIL(888) 279-5999
WAUKEGAN IL1930 N LEWIS AVEWAUKEGANIL(800) 772-1213
MT VERNON ILFEDERAL BUILDING105 S 6TH STREETMOUNT VERNONIL(866) 931-2549
DANVILLE IL400 N. VERMILION ST.DANVILLEIL(866) 331-5394
JOLIET IL552 HOUBOLT RDJOLIETIL(866) 783-7302
HARRISBURG IL18 VETERANS DRIVEHARRISBURGIL(866) 366-3980
ROCKFORD IL502 E JEFFERSON STROCKFORDIL(877) 628-6570
CHICAGO-EAST IL6338 S COTTAGE GROVECHICAGOIL(800) 772-1213
CHICAGO-WEST IL5130 WEST NORTH AVENUECHICAGOIL(800) 772-1213
CHICAGO NORTH IL2127 W LAWRENCE AVECHICAGOIL(800) 772-1213
CHICAGO SOUTH8658 S SACRAMENTO AVECHICAGOIL(800) 772-1213
CHAMPAIGN IL101 S COUNTRY FAIR DRCHAMPAIGNIL(877) 819-2593
NORTH RIVERSIDE ILROOM 6007222 W CERMAK RDNORTH RIVERSIDEIL(800) 772-1213
HILLSIDE IL230 NORTH MANNHEIM RDHILLSIDEIL(800) 772-1213
EVANSTON IL2116 GREEN BAY RDEVANSTONIL(800) 772-1213
GALESBURG IL2060 WINDISH DRIVEGALESBURGIL(877) 405-7659
DECATUR IL606 W PERSHING RDDECATURIL(888) 619-4773
BLOOMINGTON IL207 N WILLIAMSBURG DRBLOOMINGTONIL(877) 405-4640
AURORA IL1325 N. LAKE STREETAURORAIL(877) 274-5412
CHICAGO HEIGHTS IL104 S HALSTED STREETCHICAGO HEIGHTSIL(800) 772-1213
CHICAGO-NR NW IL3260 W FULLERTON AVECHICAGOIL(800) 772-1213
ALTON ILROOM 103 FEDERAL BLDG501 BELLE STALTONIL(855) 285-6006
CHICAGO-NW ILSUITE 6004849 N MILWAUKEE AVECHICAGOIL(800) 772-1213
CHICAGO-SE IL9715 S COTTAGE GROVECHICAGOIL(800) 772-1213
ELGIN ILSUITE 100790 FLETCHER DRELGINIL(877) 405-0435
KANKAKEE IL630 E. OAK ST.KANKAKEEIL(855) 807-8801
CARBONDALE ILRM 104250 W CHERRY STCARBONDALEIL(877) 714-0377
STERLING ILSUITE C3512 E LINCOLNWAYSTERLINGIL(866) 789-1093
PERU IL915 WENZEL RDPERUIL(855) 245-0640
FREEPORT IL4 E LINDEN STFREEPORTIL(855) 628-1591
EFFINGHAM ILSUITE 21207 NETWORK CENTRE DREFFINGHAMIL(855) 213-5288
BLOOMINGDALE IL230 WEST LAKE STREETBLOOMINGDALEIL(800) 772-1213
MOUNT PROSPECT IL705 NORTH WHEELING RDMOUNT PROSPECTIL(800) 772-1213
CHICAGO LAWNDALE IL2416 S PULASKI ROADCHICAGOIL(800) 772-1213
WOODRIDGE IL7440 PROVIDENCE DRWOODRIDGEIL(866) 303-2724
LITCHFIELD IL1107 W FERDONLITCHFIELDIL(877) 319-3077
CHICAGO SW SUBU10718 S ROBERTS RDPALOS HILLSIL(800) 772-1213
PEKIN IL2801 BROADWAYPEKINIL(877) 405-0499
WOODSTOCK IL2450 LAKE SHORE DRWOODSTOCKIL(877) 405-7828
WEST FRANKFORT1005 FACTORY OUTLET DRWEST FRANKFORTIL(888) 223-8869
BELLEVILLE ILLAKE CHRISTINE CENTER1670 LEBANON AVEBELLEVILLEIL(877) 405-0471
BACK OF THE YARDS4631 S ASHLAND AVECHICAGOIL(800) 772-1213
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All data on this page is current as of July, 2019.

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.