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 Montana – 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 Montana 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 Montana below.

Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits in Montana – 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 Montana 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)
Montana36.8%17.9%48.6%
National Average35.1%12.5%53.9%
State Difference:1.7%5.4%-5.3%

As the table shows, Montana is ahead of the national average at the first two levels of Initial Application and Reconsideration by 1.7% and 5.4% respectively. Montana does take a dip at the Hearing level, being behind by 5.3% of the national average.

Montana Initial Application Approval Over Time

Initial Application Approval Rate201820172016201520142013201220112010
Montana36.8%37.6%36.6%36.5%38.3%37.5%37.6%38.1%39.2%
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, Montana has been ahead of Initial Applications going back to at least 2010. However, Montana has been declining over that span of time. In 2018, Montana ranked 11th in the nation in terms of percentage approval of Initial Applications. While approval rates have declined in Montana over the last few years, they still are ahead of the national average. If you are thinking of applying for SSDI, don’t worry – there are multiple stages to the application process.

Montana Reconsideration Approval Over Time

Reconsideration Approval Rate201820172016201520142013201220112010
Montana17.9%17.0%15.0%14.9%14.2%14.2%14.8%16.2%13.7%
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, Montana has steadily improved, the national average when it comes to Approvals at the Reconsideration level. In 2018, Montana ranked 11th 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.

Montana Hearings Approval Over Time

Hearing Approval Rate201820172016201520142013201220112010
Montana48.6%48.9%48.0%45.7%56.7%55.8%58.2%59.5%76.0%
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, Montana has taken a sharp decline over the years. In the past 4 years, they have been worse than the national average when it comes to approvals at the Hearing level. In 2018, Montana ranked 38th in the nation for highest percentage of approvals at Hearings.

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

Montana is part of the Social Security Administration’s “Region 8,” which is headquartered in Denver. There is 1 hearing office in Montana. You can see waiting times for hearings & case dispositions for the office below, with comparisons to Montana 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%
Montana Average15.452837.2%
BILLINGS15.452837.2%

As the table here and the chart below indicate, in 2019, Montana is averaging the same as the national average when it comes to wait times for a court date. The approval rating is awful unfortunately. They are 15.5% lower than the national average for 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 Montana & The SSA Offices They Serve

These are the “Office of Hearing Operations” offices in Montana. 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 8 Billings SSA, OHO
Suite 500 2900 Fourth Avenue
North Billings, Montana 59101-1266
(877) 545-5512 • (406) 247-7555 • (877) 389-4223
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
IDAHO: Boise, Caldwell, Idaho Falls, Pocatello, Twin Falls
MONTANA: Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Glasgow, Great Falls, Havre, Helena, Kalispell, Missoula
OREGON: Ontario
SOUTH DAKOTA: Rapid City
WYOMING: Cody, Sheridan

List of Social Security Administration Field Offices in Montana

Office NameLocationAddressCityStatePhone Number
HELENA MTSUITE 160010 W 15TH STHELENAMT(866) 563-9496
BUTTE MT2201 HARRISONBUTTEMT(888) 632-7068
BILLINGS MTROOM 3042900 4TH AVE NBILLINGSMT(866) 895-1795
GREAT FALLS MT2008 23RD ST. S.GREAT FALLSMT(877) 583-4114
MISSOULA MT3701 AMERICAN WAYMISSOULAMT(866) 931-9029
KALISPELL MT275 CORPORATE DRSUITE DKALISPELLMT(888) 487-0150
BOZEMAN MT3205 N 27TH AVENUEBOZEMANMT(877) 405-5473
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.