Florida Social Security Disability Lawyers

When you apply for social security disability benefits in Florida, you should do so with the understanding that the application and review process for SSD benefits is often lengthy and with very few guarantees. In fact, less than 30% of initial disability claims initiated in the state of Florida are actually awarded compared with 32.1% of claims nationwide. Of the more than 70% of Florida disability cases that are denied, less than 10% are awarded during the reconsideration process, which is less than the national average of 11.3%. The majority of social security disability claimants will have to make the decision between going without SSD benefits and forging on in the hopes that they will be awarded benefits at the hearing level. Florida social security disability cases denied during the initial phase and during the reconsideration stage can be reviewed a final time by an Administrative Law Judge at a local hearing office. There are eight SSD hearing offices in the state of Florida located in the following cities: Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale, St. Petersburg, Fort Myers and Tallahassee.

The time it takes to have a hearing processed at one of the local hearing offices ranges in time from 293 days (Orlando Office) to 417 days (St. Petersburg office) with the state average being 380 days. Nationwide, the average processing time for a hearing on a social security disability case is 349 days and both in the state of Florida and nationally, fewer than 60% of the disability cases heard by Florida ALJs are actually awarded. Below is a list of average approval rates and processing times for each of the eight hearing offices.

Hearing OfficeApproval RateProcessing Time in Days
Fort Lauderdale47.8%398
St. Petersburg46.6%417
Fort Myers41.8%403


Ninety-five judges review the thousands of Florida SSD cases split between the offices. There are 6 judges serving in Fort Myers, 13 in Fort Lauderdale, 14 in Jacksonville, 12 in Miami, 16 in Orlando, 12 in St. Petersburg, 7 in Tallahassee and 15 in Tampa. A disability attorney who may have attended hearings at either of the eight hearing offices may be at an advantage presenting cases before an ALJ with whom the attorney has become familiar.


If you are looking to hire a Florida Social Security attorney, click on the city closest to you for more information:


A free consultation with a Florida disability attorney can be scheduled using the free evaluation form that is available on this site. Initial consultations are always free and you are not required to pay any attorney’s fees unless your disability lawyer wins your case.

Additional Resources

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