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 Washington – 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 Washington 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 Washington below.

Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits in Washington – 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 Washington 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)
Washington38.2%13.6%52.2%
National Average35.1%12.5%53.9%
State Difference:3.0%1.1%-1.7%

As the table shows, Washington has been slightly ahead of the national average at the Initial Application and Reconsideration levels. Washington is slightly below the national average for Hearing approvals by 1.7 percentage points.

Washington Initial Application Approval Over Time

Initial Application Approval Rate201820172016201520142013201220112010
Washington38.2%39.4%39.6%38.1%38.3%38.1%37.7%38.1%41.0%
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, Washington has been consistently ahead of the national average for Initial Applications going back to at least 2010. In 2018, Washington ranked 23rd in the nation in terms of percentage approval of Initial Applications. While approval rates have declined in Washington over the last few years, they still stayed above the national average. If you are thinking of applying for SSDI, don’t worry – there are multiple stages to the application process.

Washington Reconsideration Approval Over Time

Reconsideration Approval Rate201820172016201520142013201220112010
Washington13.6%14.6%14.4%14.2%12.3%12.7%12.6%12.2%11.2%
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, Washington has been slightly above the national average when it comes to Approvals at the Reconsideration level. In 2018, Washington ranked 24th 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.

Washington Hearings Approval Over Time

Hearing Approval Rate201820172016201520142013201220112010
Washington52.2%56.3%55.4%54.4%54.5%54.2%60.3%69.1%75.1%
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, Washington has dramatically declined in its approval rates over the years, currently just below the national average when it comes to approvals at the Hearing level. In 2018, Washington ranked 28th in the nation for highest percentage of approvals at Hearings.

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

Washington SSDI Hearing Wait Times & Approval By Office

Washington is part of the Social Security Administration’s “Region 10,” which is headquartered in Seattle. There are 3 hearing offices in Washington. You can see waiting times for hearings & case dispositions for each office below, with comparisons to Washington 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%
Washington Average13.848841.2%
SEATTLE13.250039.3%
SPOKANE15.149551.4%
TACOMA13.346832.9%

As the table here and the chart below indicate, in 2019, the wait times in Washington for all 3 offices are shorter than the national average with the Spokane office just barely below the national average. The approval rates statewide are solidly lower than the national average. Seattle and Tacoma are well below the average with 39.3% and 32.9% average approval rates and Spokane just below the average by 1.3 percentage points at 51.4%.

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 Washington & The SSA Offices They Serve

These are the “Office of Hearing Operations” offices in Washington. 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 Region 10 Seattle SSA, OHO
Columbia Tower, Suite 2900 701 5th Avenue, M\S 904
Seattle, Washington 98104-7075
(206) 615-2236 • (206) 615-2247
Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington

Hearing Office Region 10 Seattle SSA, OHO
Yesler Building, Suite 500 300 5th Avenue
Seattle, Washington 98104-3389
(888) 366-6144 • (206) 615-3731 • (877) 714-3634
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
WASHINGTON: Bellevue, Bellingham, Everett, Kitsap, Lynnwood, Mt. Vernon, Port Angeles, Renton, Seattle (Metro), Seattle (North), Wenatchee, Yakima

Hearing Office Region 10 Spokane SSA, OHO
Suite 200 714 N Iron Bridge Way
Spokane, Washington 99202-4929
(888) 253-3903 • (509) 353-2986 • (877) 714-3615
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
IDAHO: Coeur d’Alene, Lewiston
WASHINGTON: Kennewick (Tri-Cities), Pullman, Spokane, Walla Walla
OREGON: Pendleton

Hearing Office Region 10 Tacoma SSA, OHO
Suite 200 2413 Pacific Avenue
Tacoma, Washington 98402
(888) 208-4640 • (253) 272-0143 • (877) 313-4919
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
WASHINGTON: Centralia, Grays Harbor, Kent, Olympia, Puyallup, Tacoma

List of Social Security Administration Field Offices in Washington

Office NameLocationAddressCityStatePhone Number
BELLEVUE WASUITE 100636 120TH AVE NEBELLEVUEWA(800) 772-1213
KENT WASUITE 401321 RAMSAY WAYKENTWA(800) 772-1213
SPOKANE WASUITE 100714 N IRON BRIDGE WAYSPOKANEWA(800) 772-1213
SEATTLE METRO WASUITE 901915 2ND AVESEATTLEWA(800) 772-1213
TACOMA WASUITE A2608 S 47TH STTACOMAWA(800) 772-1213
OLYMPIA WA402 YAUGER WAY SWOLYMPIAWA(800) 772-1213
YAKIMA WA801 FRUITVALE BLVDYAKIMAWA(800) 772-1213
BELLINGHAM WA710 ALABAMA STBELLINGHAMWA(800) 772-1213
GRAYS HARBOR WA820 SIMPSON AVEHOQUIAMWA(800) 772-1213
EVERETT WA3809 BROADWAYEVERETTWA(800) 772-1213
VANCOUVER WASUITE 500805 BROADWAY STVANCOUVERWA(800) 772-1213
WENATCHEE WASTE 212301 YAKIMA STREETWENATCHEEWA(800) 772-1213
WALLA WALLA WA880 NE ROSE STCOLLEGE PLACEWA(800) 772-1213
KITSAP WA9594 MICKELBERRY RD NWSILVERDALEWA(800) 772-1213
TRI-CITIES WASUITE A8131 W KLAMATH CTKENNEWICKWA(800) 772-1213
LONGVIEW WASUITE 150840 OCEAN BEACH HWYLONGVIEWWA(800) 772-1213
SEATTLE NORTH WASUITE B13510 AURORA AVE NSEATTLEWA(800) 772-1213
BURIEN WA151 SW 156 STREETBURIENWA(800) 772-1213
MT VERNON WASUITE A710 E COLLEGE WAYMT VERNONWA(800) 772-1213
PUYALLUP WASUITE A811 SOUTH HILL PARK DRPUYALLUPWA(800) 772-1213
CENTRALIA WASTE 1001821 COOKS HILL RDCENTRALIAWA(800) 772-1213
LYNNWOOD WASUITE 20718905 33RD AVE WLYNNWOODWA(800) 772-1213
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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.