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 Pennsylvania – 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 Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania below.
Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits in Pennsylvania – 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 Pennsylvania 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)|
As the table shows, Pennsylvania is well above the national average at the first two levels. Both Initial Application and Reconsideration levels are higher by 5.1% and 3.9% respectively. Pennsylvania is just slightly below by the national average at the Hearing level, by 0.7%.
Pennsylvania Initial Application Approval Over Time
|Initial Application Approval Rate||2018||2017||2016||2015||2014||2013||2012||2011||2010|
As the table and the below chart show, Pennsylvania has been dancing around the national average of Initial Applications going back to at least 2010. In 2018, Pennsylvania ranked 14th in the nation in terms of percentage approval of Initial Applications. While approval rates have improved in Pennsylvania over the last few years, they still outperform the national average. Even so, less than half make it past this level. If you are thinking of applying for SSDI, don’t worry – there are multiple stages to the application process.
Pennsylvania Reconsideration Approval Over Time
|Reconsideration Approval Rate||2018||2017||2016||2015||2014||2013||2012||2011||2010|
As the table and the below chart indicate, Pennsylvania has consistently ahead of the national average when it comes to Approvals at the Reconsideration level. In 2018, Pennsylvania ranked 14th 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.
Pennsylvania Hearings Approval Over Time
|Hearing Approval Rate||2018||2017||2016||2015||2014||2013||2012||2011||2010|
As the table and the below chart indicate, Pennsylvania has stayed extremely close to the national average when it comes to approvals at the Hearing level. In 2018, Pennsylvania ranked 27th in the nation for highest percentage of approvals at Hearings.
However, as you’ll see below, all individual hearing offices in Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania 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.
Pennsylvania SSDI Hearing Wait Times & Approval By Office
Pennsylvania is part of the Social Security Administration’s “Region 3,” which is headquartered in Philadelphia. There are 8hearing offices in Pennsylvania. You can see waiting times for hearings & case dispositions for each office below, with comparisons to Pennsylvania 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)|
As the table here and the chart below indicate, in 2019, as a whole Pennsylvania is pretty much in line with the national wait times. Though this is due to a handful of under performing offices. The offices in Elkins Park and Pittsburgh have extremely long wait times bringing the state average up. Unfortunately, the approval rate throughout is much lower than the national average.
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 Pennsylvania & The SSA Offices They Serve
These are the “Office of Hearing Operations” offices in Pennsylvania. 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.
OHO Stegmaier Building, Suite 201
7 North Wilkes-Barre Boulevard
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 18702-5242
(866) 895-1594 • (570) 821-4169 • (877) 560-5936
Hours:8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Hearing Office Region 3 Elkins Park SSA, OHO
Suite 250 8380 Old York Road
Elkins Park, Pennsylvania 19027
(866) 964-7369 • (215) 887-0541 • (877) 548-8806
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
PENNSYLVANIA: Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton, Fairless Hills, Limerick, Philadelphia (NE), Reading
Hearing Office Region 3 Harrisburg SSA, OHO
8th Floor 2 North 2nd Street
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17101
(888) 352-3691 • (717) 236-3150 • (877) 548-8807
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
PENNSYLVANIA: Carlisle, Chambersburg, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lewistown, York
Hearing Office Region 3 Johnstown SSA, OHO
Suite 200 334 Washington Street Johnstown, Pennsylvania 15901-9954
(866) 331-7134 • (814) 535-4057 • (877) 548-8809
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
PENNSYLVANIA: Altoona, DuBois, Indiana, Johnstown, State College
Hearing Office Region 3 Philadelphia SSA, OHO
21st Floor 1601 Market Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103
(866) 964-6288 • (215) 982-4734 • (877) 548-8810
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
PENNSYLVANIA: Norristown, Philadelphia (Aramingo), Philadelphia (Downtown), Philadelphia (South), Philadelphia (West), West Chester
Hearing Office Region 3 Philadelphia East SSA, OHO
Suite 502 833 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107
(866) 572-9721 • (215) 597-3480 • (877) 548-8811
8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
PENNSYLVANIA: Chester, Philadelphia (Germantown), Philadelphia (Nicetown), Upper Darby
Hearing Office Region 3 Pittsburgh SSA, OHO
Suite 2308 1000 Liberty Avenue Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222
(866) 331-2291 • (412) 644-4200 • (877) 560-5935
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
PENNSYLVANIA: Greensburg, McKeesport, Monroeville, Pittsburgh (Downtown), Pittsburgh (East), Pittsburgh (Mt. Lebanon), Rostraver, Washington
Hearing Office Region 3 Seven Fields SSA, OHO
One Adams Place, Suite 200 300 Seven Fields Boulevard
Mars, Pennsylvania 16046
(855) 278-4199 • (724) 742-4836 • (877) 560-5935
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
PENNSYLVANIA: Ambridge, Butler, Cranberry (formerly Oil City), Erie, Kittanning, Meadville, New Castle, New Kensington, Sharon
List of Social Security Administration Field Offices in Pennsylvania
|Office Name||Location||Address||City||State||Phone Number|
|MEADVILLE PA||19063 PARK AVE PLAZA||MEADVILLE||PA||16335||(888) 347-9276|
|PHILA SOUTH PA||STADIUM PLAZA||3336 S BROAD STREET||PHILADELPHIA||PA||19145||(800) 772-1213|
|BLOOMSBURG PA||700 MARKET ST||BLOOMSBURG||PA||17815||(866) 526-9847|
|PHILA ARAMINGO PA||IMPERIAL PLAZA||3400 ARAMINGO AVE||PHILADELPHIA||PA||19134||(800) 772-1213|
|PHILA-DOWNTOWN||2 PENN CTR STE 2000A||1500 JFK BLVD 20TH FL||PHILADELPHIA||PA||19102||(800) 772-1213|
|PITTS DT PA||921 PENN AVE||PITTSBURGH||PA||15222||(800) 772-1213|
|SCRANTON PA||OPPENHEIM BLDG 1ST FLR||409 LACKAWANNA AVENUE||SCRANTON||PA||18503||(866) 635-0767|
|READING PA||STE 200||201 PENN ST||READING||PA||19601||(866) 274-5960|
|HARRISBURG PA||SUITE 810||555 WALNUT STREET||HARRISBURG||PA||17101||(888) 327-1176|
|ERIE PA||HIGHMARK BLDG STE 500||717 STATE ST||ERIE||PA||16501||(877) 405-2887|
|HAZLETON PA||88 S LAUREL ST||HAZLETON||PA||18201||(866) 388-9878|
|ALTOONA PA||303 CAYUGA AVE||ALTOONA||PA||16602||(800) 772-1213|
|LANCASTER PA||SUITE 104||1809 OLDE HOMESTEAD LN||LANCASTER||PA||17601||(800) 772-1213|
|ALLENTOWN PA||41 N 4TH ST||ALLENTOWN||PA||18102||(877) 405-6746|
|NEW CASTLE PA||1708 WILMINGTON RD||NEW CASTLE||PA||16105||(800) 772-1213|
|CRANBERRY PA||80 REGINA DR||CRANBERRY||PA||16319||(800) 772-1213|
|UNIONTOWN PA||627 PITTSBURGH ROAD||FAYETTE PLAZA||UNIONTOWN||PA||15401||(800) 772-1213|
|WILKES-BARRE PA||STEGMAIER BLDG, ST 102||7 N WILKES BARRE BLVD||WILKES BARRE||PA||18702||(800) 772-1213|
|JOHNSTOWN PA||SUITE 225||334 WASHINGTON ST||JOHNSTOWN||PA||15901||(800) 772-1213|
|WILLIAMSPORT PA||SUITE 100||240 WEST 3RD ST||WILLIAMSPORT||PA||17701||(866) 558-2572|
|YORK PA||SUITE 2||2670 INDUSTRIAL HWY||YORK||PA||17402||(800) 772-1213|
|CHESTER PA||807 CROSBY STREET||CHESTER||PA||19013||(800) 772-1213|
|PHILA GERMANTOWN PA||701 EAST CHELTEN AVE||PHILADELPHIA||PA||19144||(800) 772-1213|
|PHILA NORTHEAST PA||2373 WELSH ROAD||PHILADELPHIA||PA||19114||(800) 772-1213|
|POTTSVILLE PA||SUITE 200||2221 W MARKET STREET||POTTSVILLE||PA||17901||(800) 772-1213|
|MCKEESPORT PA||540 5TH AVE||MCKEESPORT||PA||15132||(800) 772-1213|
|AMBRIDGE PA||120 MERCHANT St||AMBRIDGE||PA||15003||(800) 772-1213|
|GREENSBURG PA||122 W 3RD STREET||GREENSBURG||PA||15601||(800) 772-1213|
|NEW KENSINGTON||707 5TH AVE||NEW KENSINGTON||PA||15068||(800) 772-1213|
|WASHINGTON PA||SUITE 010||95 W BEAU ST||WASHINGTON||PA||15301||(800) 772-1213|
|NORRISTOWN PA||1700 MARKLEY STREET||SUITE 120||NORRISTOWN||PA||19401||(800) 772-1213|
|DU BOIS PA||302 LIBERTY BLVD||DUBOIS||PA||15801||(800) 772-1213|
|EASTON PA||134 S FOURTH ST||EASTON||PA||18042||(866) 964-5056|
|PHILA UNIVERSITY CITY||4240 MARKET STREET||PHILADELPHIA||PA||19104||(800) 772-1213|
|PITTS EAST LIBERTY PA||6117 STATION ST||PITTSBURGH||PA||15206||(800) 772-1213|
|SHARON PA||2380 GARDEN WAY||HERMITAGE||PA||16148||(800) 772-1213|
|SELINSGROVE PA||150 SUSQ VLY MALL DR||SELINSGROVE||PA||17870||(800) 772-1213|
|FAIRLESS HILLS PA||444 LINCOLN HWY||FAIRLESS HILLS||PA||19030||(800) 772-1213|
|CHAMBERSBURG PA||50 N THIRD STREET||CHAMBERSBURG||PA||17201||(800) 772-1213|
|STATE COLLEGE PA||SUITE 2||901 UNIVERSITY DR||STATE COLLEGE||PA||16801||(800) 772-1213|
|WEST CHESTER PA||1101 WEST CHESTER PIKE||WEST CHESTER||PA||19382||(800) 772-1213|
|INDIANA PA||SUITE 310 PROF CENTER||1265 WAYNE AVE||INDIANA||PA||15701||(800) 772-1213|
|BUTLER PA||102 WOODY DR||BUTLER||PA||16001||(800) 772-1213|
|LEBANON PA||924 RUSSELL DRIVE||LEBANON||PA||17042||(800) 772-1213|
|ROSTRAVER PA||SUITE 320||800 PLAZA DR||BELLE VERNON||PA||15012||(800) 772-1213|
|UPPER DARBY PA||8645 WEST CHESTER PIKE||UPPER DARBY||PA||19082||(800) 772-1213|
|PHILA-NICETOWN||2929 NORTH BROAD ST||PHILADELPHIA||PA||19132||(800) 772-1213|
|MT LEBANON PA||SUITE 120||650 WASHINGTON ROAD||PITTSBURGH||PA||15228||(800) 772-1213|
|CARLISLE PA||200 S SPRING GARDEN ST||CARLISLE||PA||17013||(800) 772-1213|
|LEWISTOWN PA||208 WEST 3RD STREET||LEWISTOWN||PA||17044||(800) 772-1213|
|EAST STROUDSBURG PA||9090 FRANKLIN HILL RD||EAST STROUDSBURG||PA||18301||(888) 835-6169|
|BETHLEHEM PA||555 MAIN ST||BETHLEHEM||PA||18018||(866) 783-7458|
|MONROEVILLE PA||SUITE 210||400 OXFORD DRIVE||MONROEVILLE||PA||15146||(800) 772-1213|
|LIMERICK PA||39 W RIDGE PIKE||ROYERSFORD||PA||19468||(866) 964-7415|
|TOWANDA PA||SUITE 1||1 ELIZABETH STREET||TOWANDA||PA||18848||(888) 841-6546|
|KITTANNING PA||HIGHLAND BUS.CTR STE 1||159 BUTLER RD||KITTANNING||PA||16201||(800) 772-1213|
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.
More Important Information about The Application Process
Other Applying For SSDI FAQs:
- Can Citizens Disability help with my application?
- Does this process take as long as I’ve heard about?
- Can I receive both Medicare and Social Security disability benefits?
- Do I receive compensation while I wait for my approval?
- If I am denied, should I reapply?
- How long does it take for an initial application to be decided?
- What happens during the reconsideration stage?
- At which stage do I require an advocate?
- Should I give medical updates to the disability authorities throughout the appeals processes?
- Are there any costs to me during the appeals process?