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 Iowa – 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 Iowa 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 Iowa below.

Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits in Iowa – 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 Iowa 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)
Iowa39.2%9.8%58.8%
National Average35.6%12.6%53.9%
State Difference:3.6%-2.8%4.9%

As the table shows, Iowa is better than the national average at the Initial Application and Hearing levels by a little over 4% each. At Reconsideration however, Iowa is lower than the national average by 2.7%.

Iowa Initial Application Approval Over Time

Initial Application Approval Rate201820172016201520142013201220112010
Iowa39.2%37.6%38.7%38.7%37.8%37.9%37.2%33.2%32.7%
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, Iowa has been has improved over the national average of Initial Applications going back to at least 2010. In 2018, Iowa ranked 17th in the nation in terms of percentage approval of Initial Applications. While approval rates have remained pretty much the same in Iowa over the last few years, they still are better than the national average. If you are thinking of applying for SSDI, don’t worry – there are multiple stages to the application process.

Iowa Reconsideration Approval Over Time

Reconsideration Approval Rate201820172016201520142013201220112010
Iowa9.8%9.9%9.4%9.7%9.5%10.3%10.8%9.2%9.2%
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, Iowa has, over the past 10 years, been below the national average when it comes to Approvals at the Reconsideration level. In 2018, Iowa ranked 47th 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.

Iowa Hearings Approval Over Time

Hearing Approval Rate201820172016201520142013201220112010
Iowa58.8%60.3%58.0%48.7%49.7%49.9%47.8%60.0%67.1%
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, Iowa has dramatically improved over the last 8 years. Now they are better than the national average when it comes to approvals at the Hearing level. In 2018, Iowa ranked 8th in the nation for highest percentage of approvals at Hearings.

However, as you’ll see below, all individual hearing offices in Iowa 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 Iowa 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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Iowa SSDI Hearing Wait Times & Approval By Office

Iowa is part of the Social Security Administration’s “Region 7,” which is headquartered in Kansas City. There is 1 hearing office in Iowa. You can see waiting times for hearings & case dispositions for each office below, with comparisons to Iowa 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%
Iowa Average16.457648.5%
WEST DES MOINES16.457648.5%

As the table here and the chart below indicate, in 2019, wait times in Iowa are longer than the national average by about a month. The approval rate is also a fair amount lower than the national average as well, by 4.2%.

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 Iowa & The SSA Offices They Serve

These are the “Office of Hearing Operations” offices in Iowa. 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 7 West Des Moines SSA, OHO
Regency West, Building 1, Suite 300 1501 50th Street
West Des Moines, Iowa 50266
(877) 628-6577 • (515) 223-0371 • (877) 417-4609
Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
IOWA: Ames, Burlington, Carroll, Cedar Rapids, Coralville, Creston, Decorah, Des Moines, Dubuque, Fort Dodge, Iowa City, Marshalltown, Mason City, Ottumwa, Waterloo

List of Social Security Administration Field Offices in Iowa

Office NameLocationAddressCityStatePhone Number
DES MOINES IARIVERPOINT OFC COMPLEX455 SW 5TH ST STE FDES MOINESIA(800) 772-1213
DAVENPORT IA4319 N BRADY STREETDAVENPORTIA(855) 420-8556
SIOUX CITY IA3555 SOUTHERN HILLS DRSIOUX CITYIA(866) 338-2859
WATERLOO IA3121 GREYHOUND DRWATERLOOIA(888) 456-9554
OTTUMWA IASUITE A2429 NORTHGATE STOTTUMWAIA(866) 964-7394
DUBUQUE IASUITE 1011635 ASSOCIATES DRDUBUQUEIA(877) 405-3650
CEDAR RAPIDS IA3165 WILLIAMS BLVD SWCEDAR RAPIDSIA(866) 495-0088
FORT DODGE IA2315 2ND AVE NORTHFORT DODGEIA(866) 839-6193
MASON CITY IA625 VILLAGE GRN DR SWMASON CITYIA(866) 365-6708
BURLINGTON IA3920 DIVISION STBURLINGTONIA(800) 772-1213
CRESTON IA906 E TAYLOR STCRESTONIA(866) 613-2827
CARROLL IA818 BELLA VISTA DRCARROLLIA(866) 572-8381
SPENCER IA1610 12TH AVE SWSPENCERIA(866) 273-6050
CORALVILLE IASUITE 1001100 6TH STREETCORALVILLEIA(866) 964-2039
MARSHALLTOWN IA2502 SOUTH 2ND STREETMARSHALLTOWNIA(877) 819-2595
AMES IA2615 UNIVERSITY BLVDAMESIA(866) 899-1928
COUNCIL BLUFFSMID-AMERICA CENTER20 ARENA WAY STE 1COUNCIL BLUFFSIA(866) 331-9094
Swipe left & right to see the whole table

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.