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 Rhode Island – 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 Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island below.

Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits in Rhode Island – 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 Rhode Island 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)
Rhode Island38.8%13.2%49.9%
National Average35.1%12.5%53.9%
State Difference:3.6%0.7%-3.9%

As the table shows, Rhode Island is ahead of the national average in the Initial Application level and Reconsideration Level by a little, but fall well below the average at the Hearing level.

Rhode Island Initial Application Approval Over Time

Initial Application Approval Rate201820172016201520142013201220112010
Rhode Island38.8%36.6%36.8%33.1%32.3%32.0%33.9%33.8%33.1%
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, Rhode Island has been stayed consistent with the national average of Initial Applications going back to at least 2010. In 2018, Rhode Island ranked 21st in the nation in terms of percentage approval of Initial Applications. While approval rates have improved in Rhode Island over the last few years, they still only slightly ahead the national average. If you are thinking of applying for SSDI, don’t worry – there are multiple stages to the application process.

Rhode Island Reconsideration Approval Over Time

Reconsideration Approval Rate201820172016201520142013201220112010
Rhode Island13.2%15.0%13.6%14.9%12.8%14.4%12.4%13.6%12.8%
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, Rhode Island has been ahead of the national average when it comes to Approvals at the Reconsideration level. In 2018, Rhode Island ranked 25th 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.

Rhode Island Hearings Approval Over Time

Hearing Approval Rate201820172016201520142013201220112010
Rhode Island49.9%49.1%49.9%49.0%44.9%45.5%50.3%60.9%63.8%
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, Rhode Island has well under performed compared to the national average when it comes to approvals at the Hearing level. In 2018, Rhode Island ranked in the nation for highest percentage of approvals at Hearings.

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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Rhode Island SSDI Hearing Wait Times & Approval By Office

Rhode Island is part of the Social Security Administration’s “Region 1,” which is headquartered in Boston. There is 1 hearing office in Rhode Island. You can see waiting times for hearings & case dispositions below, with comparisons to Rhode Island 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%
Rhode Island Average10.626539.5%
PROVIDENCE10.626539.5%

As the table here and the chart below indicate, in 2019, you do not have to wait long for for a hearing. They are around 30% faster than the national average in wait times. However, they also have a very low approval rating. They are 13.2 percentage points below 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 Rhode Island & The SSA Offices They Serve

These are the “Office of Hearing Operations” offices in Rhode Island. 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 1 Providence SSA, OHO
10th Floor, Suite 1000W 155 Westminster Street
Providence, Rhode Island 02903
(877) 583-4082 • (401) 272-3052 • (877) 787-5238
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Services the following Social Security Field Offices:
RHODE ISLAND: Newport, Pawtucket, Providence, Warwick, Woonsocket

List of Social Security Administration Field Offices in Rhode Island

Office NameLocationAddressCityStatePhone Number
PROV RI6TH FLOORONE EMPIRE PLAZAPROVIDENCERI(877) 402-0808
WOONSOCKET RIPAVILION PLAZA2168 DIAMOND HILL ROADWOONSOCKETRI(877) 229-3542
PAWTUCKET RI4 PLEASANT STPAWTUCKETRI(866) 931-7079
WARWICK RIFIRST FLOOR30 QUAKER LANEWARWICKRI(866) 964-2038
NEWPORT RI1ST FLR130 BELLEVUE AVENEWPORTRI(866) 253-5607
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All data on this page is current as of July, 2019.

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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.