Filing for Disability in Washington

In Washington, the approvals rates for Social Security disability claims are a bit higher than the national average.

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If you live in Washington and are out of work due to illness or injury, you may be considering applying for Social Security disability benefits. Social Security disability (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are federal benefit programs, but there is some information specific to applying for Social Security in Washington that you should know.

Disability Determinations in Washington

Washington Disability Determination Services (DDS) is the state agency responsible for making decisions on Social Security disability claims filed in Washington. A disability claims examiner, with the help of a medical consultant, makes the initial determination after gathering the patient's medical records. There are three DDS offices in Washington; contact information appears below. Approximately 38% of Washington's disability applicants were approved upon their initial application (in 2018-2019), which is slightly higher than the national average.

Appealing a Washington SSDI Denial

Approximately three to four months after you apply for disability, you'll be notified via mail whether your claim has been approved or denied. If you are among those who are denied SSDI benefits, you are able to appeal this decision.

Request for Reconsideration

The first appeal is called a "Request for Reconsideration." You have 60 days from the date you receive your disability denial letter to submit the "Request for Reconsideration" form to the SSA. It will take an average of one to two months for your reconsideration decision to be made. In Washington, just 14% of disability claims are approved upon reconsideration.

Washington Disability Hearings

If your reconsideration results in a second disability denial, you can then request a hearing in front of an administrative law judge (ALJ). In Washington, the average wait between the date a disability hearing is requested and when it takes place is 13 months.

You'll be notified of the judge's decision within 30 days of your hearing. Around 51% of Washington Social Security disability hearings result in the claimant being awarded benefits.

Stage of Application

Washington

Nationally

Initial Application Approval

38%

35%

Reconsideration Approval

14%

13%

Hearing Approval

51%

45%

Hearing Wait Time

13 months

16 months

Washington SSI Supplement

If you receive SSI and live in Washington, you are eligible for a small additional monthly payment from the state through the State Supplementary Payment Program. The amount of this SSI supplement varies depending on your living arrangements. In 2019, certain SSI recipients who live independently, in someone else's household, or in a group home can receive $46.00 per month. SSI recipients residing in a Medicaid facility receive $27.28. In certain "special needs circumstances," the state of Washington will also pay for an SSI recipient's utilities, meals, or other services.

Washington DDS

There are Washington DDS offices in Olympia, Seattle, and Spokane – you'll find their contact information below. You can also find more information on the Washington DDS website.

Olympia DDS

P.O. Box 9303
MS 45550
Olympia, WA 98507
Tel: (800) 562-6074
Fax: (360) 586-0851

Seattle DDS

33810 Weyerhaeuser Way S, Suite 200
Federal Way, WA 98001
Tel: (800) 843-4440
Fax: (253) 661-5033

Spokane DDS
RockPointe III Building
1330 N. Washington Street
Suite 2080
Spokane, WA 99201
Tel: (800) 572-5299
Fax: (509) 329-3793

Washington Hearing Offices (OHO)

Social Security disability hearings for Washington residents are held at Office of Hearings Operations (OHO) locations, listed below. (The Portland OHO hears claims from the Longview and Vancouver Social Security field offices.)

Seattle OHO
300 5th Avenue, Suite 500
Seattle, Washington 98104-3389
Tel: (888) 366-6144
Fax: (206) 615-3731

Spokane OHO
714 N Iron Bridge Way, Ste 200
Spokane, Washington 99202-4929
Tel: (888) 253-3903
Fax: (509) 353-2986

Tacoma OHO
2413 Pacific Avenue, Suite 200
Tacoma, Washington 98402
Tel: (888) 208-4640
Fax: (253) 272-0143

Portland OHO
825 NE Multnomah Street, Suite 400
Portland, OR 97232-2483
Tel: (866) 964-6291
Fax: (503) 326-3062

Washington Vocational Rehabilitation

Disabled workers in Washington can contact the Washington Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) to access a variety of programs designed to help those with disabilities return to and maintain employment. The Washington DVR can be reached at 877-501-2233, or you can obtain more information on the DVR's website.

Finding Help With Your Washington Disability Claim

If you're feeling overwhelmed with the process of applying for Social Security disability benefits and navigating the SSDI appeals process, an experienced Washington SSDI lawyer can be a great help. Whether you're considering applying for disability or already have a disability claim, our lawyer locator below can assist you in finding a skilled Washington disability attorney near you.

Updated October 2, 2019

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