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 Massachusetts – 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 Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts below.

Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits in Massachusetts – 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 Massachusetts 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)
Massachusetts41.9%18.7%53.6%
National Average35.1%12.5%53.9%
State Difference:6.8%6.2%-0.3%

As the table shows, Massachusetts is a touch ahead of the national average when it comes to the first two levels – Initial Application and Reconsideration. Massachusetts is just slightly lower than the national average at the Hearing level, just 0.3%.

Massachusetts Initial Application Approval Over Time

Initial Application Approval Rate201820172016201520142013201220112010
Massachusetts41.9%41.4%42.1%40.7%40.8%41.3%40.6%41.9%43.0%
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, Massachusetts has been consistently ahead of Initial Applications going back to at least 2010. In 2018, Massachusetts ranked 10th in the nation in terms of percentage approval of Initial Applications. While approval rates have remained constant in Massachusetts over the last few years, they are still better than the national average. If you are thinking of applying for SSDI, don’t worry – there are multiple stages to the application process.

Massachusetts Reconsideration Approval Over Time

Reconsideration Approval Rate201820172016201520142013201220112010
Massachusetts18.7%21.4%22.6%20.8%21.5%22.1%22.7%22.1%22.6%
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, Massachusetts has been ahead of the national average when it comes to Approvals at the Reconsideration level. Though they have been on the decline recently. In 2018, Massachusetts ranked 9th 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.

Massachusetts Hearings Approval Over Time

Hearing Approval Rate201820172016201520142013201220112010
Massachusetts53.6%55.6%56.1%54.0%54.8%57.2%61.1%66.2%70.5%
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, Massachusetts has just recently dipped below the national average when it comes to approvals at the Hearing level. In 2018, Massachusetts ranked 25th in the nation for highest percentage of approvals at Hearings.

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

Massachusetts SSDI Hearing Wait Times & Approval By Office

Massachusetts is part of the Social Security Administration’s “Region 1,” which is headquartered in Boston. There are 3 hearing offices in Massachusetts. You can see waiting times for hearings & case dispositions for each office below, with comparisons to Massachusetts 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%
Massachusetts Average14.145243.0%
BOSTON10.830842.4%
LAWRENCE MA19.663148.4%
SPRINGFIELD MA11.841736.9%

As the table here and the chart below indicate, in 2019, generally the offices in Massachusetts have shorter wait times compared to the national average. The office in Lawrence is the outlier with a 19.6 month average. The average approval rate across all offices are much lower when compared to the national average. The closest is the Lawrence office at 48.4%.

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 Massachusetts & The SSA Offices They Serve

These are the “Office of Hearing Operations” offices in [STATE NAME]. 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 Boston: SSA, OHO
Thomas P. O’Neill, Jr. Federal Building
10 Causeway Street, Suite 565 Boston, Massachusetts 02222
(888) 870-7578 (617) 723-2985
Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont

Hearing Office Region 1 Boston SSA, OHO
4th Floor One Bowdoin Square
Boston, Massachusetts 02114
(888) 870-7573 (617) 248-0978 (877) 787-5236
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
MASSACHUSETTS: Attleboro, Boston, Brockton, Chelsea, Dorchester, Fall River, Falmouth, Fitchburg, Framingham, Gardner, Hanover, Hyannis, Lynn, Malden, New Bedford, Norwood, Quincy, Roslindale, Salem, Somerville, Taunton, Waltham.

Hearing Office Region 1 Springfield SSA, OHO
Suite 450 1441 Main Street
Springfield, Massachusetts 01103
(866) 964-5058 (413) 734-2347 (877) 787-5232
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
MASSACHUSETTS: Greenfield, Holyoke, North Adams, Pittsfield, Springfield, Worcester

Hearing Office Region 1 Lawrence SSA, OHO
Suite 301 439 South Union Street
Lawrence, Massachusetts 01843
(877) 405-9189 (978) 687-1918 (877) 312-6172
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
MASSACHUSETTS: Lowell, Lawrence, Haverhill
NEW HAMPSHIRE: Portsmouth

List of Social Security Administration Field Offices in Massachusetts

Office NameLocationAddressCityStatePhone Number
BOSTON MAROOM 14810 CAUSEWAY STREETBOSTONMA(800) 772-1213
SPRINGFIELD MA70 BOND STREETSPRINGFIELDMA(866) 964-5061
CAMBRIDGE MAFIRST FLR10 FAWCETT STCAMBRIDGEMA(800) 772-1213
ROXBURY MA10 MALCOLM X BLVDROXBURYMA(800) 772-1213
LYNN MA140 UNION STREETLYNNMA(800) 772-1213
LOWELL MASTE 300151 WARREN STLOWELLMA(877) 746-9850
WORCESTER MAMADISON PLACE51 MYRTLE STWORCESTERMA(866) 331-9069
PITTSFIELD MAFEDERAL BLDG SUITE 10178 CENTER STPITTSFIELDMA(866) 446-7111
NEW BEDFORD MAHASTINGS KEITH FED BLD53 NORTH 6TH STREETNEW BEDFORDMA(866) 964-7413
BROCKTON MA30 CHRISTY’S DRBROCKTONMA(888) 717-1524
FITCHBURG MAPHILBIN FED BLDG881 MAIN ST 1ST FLOORFITCHBURGMA(877) 319-0728
LAWRENCE MASUITE 208439 S UNION STLAWRENCEMA(877) 669-3127
FALL RIVER MA400 NORTH MAIN STREETFALL RIVERMA(866) 964-3967
HOLYOKE MA2ND FLOOR200 HIGH STREETHOLYOKEMA(877) 480-4989
MALDEN MA192 COMMERCIAL STMALDENMA(800) 772-1213
SALEM MASUITE 40610 FEDERAL STSALEMMA(800) 772-1213
QUINCY MASUITE 4011515 HANCOCK STQUINCYMA(800) 772-1213
DORCHESTER MA115 FREEPORT STDORCHESTERMA(800) 772-1213
ATTLEBORO MA106 PLEASANT STATTLEBOROMA(888) 655-6469
HAVERHILL MA367 MAIN STHAVERHILLMA(866) 964-4324
WALTHAM MASUITE 120135 BEAVER STREETWALTHAMMA(800) 772-1213
NORWOOD MASUITE 102ONE EDGEWATER DRIVENORWOODMA(800) 772-1213
FRAMINGHAM MASUITE 101ONE CLARKS HILLFRAMINGHAMMA(844) 587-1390
HYANNIS MA100 INDEPENDENCE DRIVESUITE 4HYANNISMA(866) 467-0440
ROSLINDALE MA4238 WASHINGTON STROSLINDALEMA(800) 772-1213
TAUNTON MA104 DEAN STTAUNTONMA(877) 505-4546
HANOVER MASTE 1198 COLUMBIA RDHANOVERMA(877) 444-6898
FALMOUTH MATECHNOLOGY PARK48 RESEARCH RDEAST FALMOUTHMA(855) 881-0212
NORTH ADAMS MA96 MARSHALL STREETNORTH ADAMSMA(877) 319-5709
GARDNER MA354 MAIN ST STE 2GARDNERMA(844) 371-8116
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.