Los Angeles West, California ODAR Office

At the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) in Los Angeles West, California, 10 different administrative law judges (ALJ) conduct Social Security Disability (SSD) hearings and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) hearings. Currently, in Los Angeles West, the average wait time for a SSI or SSD hearing is 10.0 months. The average case processing time in Los Angeles West is 342 days.The Los Angeles West average for winning a SSI or SSD disibility hearing is 42%. Click on the name of one of the ALJs below to see detailed information about their hearing results. This information for the Los Angeles West ODAR office was last updated on 7/9/2014.

SSA, Los Angeles West ODAR Office
12121 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 400
Los Angeles, California 90024
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Phone: (866) 748-2089 -- Fax: (310) 479-3370
eFile Fax: (877)394-4585 (For sending evidence)

OfficeJudgesAvg. Hearing
Wait Time
Average
Processing Time
Dispositions
Per Day Per ALJ
Cases
Dismissed
Cases
Approved
Cases
Denied
Los Angeles West 10 10.0 months 342 days 2.0 22% 42% 36%
California10.5 months354 days2.017%48%35%
National Average:12.3 months400 days2.018%44%38%
Hearing Wait Time: 10.00 months
Dispositions Per Day Per ALJ 2.03
Average Processing Time 342 days
Cases Pending 5527
Dispositions 2955
New Cases 5074
Hearings In Person 97%
Video Hearings 3%

Comments about Judges at the Los Angeles West California ODAR office:

To leave your own comment, select a judge from the list above and leave a comment on that judge's page.

Judge: John W Wojciechowski
Date Posted: 6/13/2014 9:46:41 PM
Submited By: Attorney M.



Very rude, patronizing, unethical and cold-hearted. Worst judge I have yet to app[ear before. Does not have any empathy or compassion whatsoever. Claimant is clearly disabled due to his mental disability of bi-polar and social anxiety. He overlooks the whole thing and finishes hearing swiftly denying him. If you appear before him for a mental disability, tough luck. Claimant is currently being evicted due to an unethical judge. He lacks knowledge in the mental health department. Why is he a SSI judge for the disabled?

Judge: Evelyn M Gunn
Date Posted: 5/1/2014 1:49:15 PM
Submited By:



She is a tuff judge! She has postpone my case twice. She repremanded my attorney in the second hearing for not having all my medical records. She told them on the record that they were a disservice to me in doing so. So, hearing number three? Postponed and assignd toa new judge. Now I have to see a new judge. I have a lot of respect for her but am quite annoyed with all the postponements because of the hardship it has created. She is no nonsense and is all about the records. So prepare.

Judge: Betty Roberts Barbeito
Date Posted: 3/18/2014 11:56:56 AM
Submited By: D. Burks Hunt



Judge Barbeito presided over my case (remand)and I am thankful that she did. She was straight-forward and respectful allowing me, in company with my attorney, to address each issue fully. Finally, I knew my case had been heard.

Judge: Sally C Reason
Date Posted: 3/1/2014 11:55:25 AM
Submited By: Cia



Sally Reason should not be titled as a Judge. She is a person that knows how to LIE and keep a straight face. I know that she had very low approval from 124 disposition in 2013 and the reason is because she has become comfortable in here job by getting away with her LIES. In my case since June 1,2011 she has ignored my doctors notes that I have SEVERE injury to my neck w/ medical proof of X-Ray Cervical Spine and she writes in her last Denied letter that no Doctors had mentioned that my injury was "SEVERE" and that is a LIE in black & white. She also LIES about me in her Denied letter that I go shopping few times a day, lift heavy items, doing laundry, cleaning at my life testimony and those are bunch of LIES, I told her that my 2 children are helping me with those items, also she asked me about cooking at home but I told her that we use convinience food such as take out or TV meals but she wrote in the Denial letter that I do cooking and that is Just Pure LIES. Sally Reason has no fear of LYING because there is no that could check her work, therefore each one us should file a complaint with DQS and let them know about this ALJ. (Division of Quality Service) One Skyline Tower 5107 Leesburg Pike Suite 1605 Falls Church, VA 22041 Sally Reason don't realize that for many of us this is the only income we have in my case as a single dad at age 61.

Judge: Sally C Reason
Date Posted: 1/10/2014 12:09:20 PM
Submited By: David Williams



This decision to dismiss, ignorant of Federal regulation, Claimants rights, lacking authority, guilty of error of law, unfairness, bias, discrimination and faulty procedures created an unwarranted delay in this claimants right to due process resulting in erroneous deprivation of entitlement to disability payments. It is unfair to offer the disabled relief in a waiver of appearance and then dismiss due to failure to appear. I also feel discriminated against as a member of a protected class of disabled citizens by this apparent policy of ignorance of the waiver of appearance. Taxpayer money was wasted by ordering a Vocational Expert to testify despite overwhelming favorable evidence, advanced age and the stated intention of the claimant not to appear at the hearing and with the creation of additional workload on other SSA divisions in having to respond to the allegations contained in this request. This claimant becomes complainant and wishes to file this communication as a complaint to the Division of Quality Service to investigate this matter as a potential pattern of error of law, bias, discrimination, improper procedure and unfairness resulting in a waste of money, an adversarial atmosphere, subversion of due process, erosion of the public trust and confidence in the administrative hearing process as conducted by this ALJ.

Judge: Gail Reich
Date Posted: 12/26/2013 4:40:40 PM
Submited By: diane schulz



very kind

Judge: Robert Iafe
Date Posted: 8/26/2013 3:40:14 PM
Submited By: Angelia Forester



My time in front of Robert Iafe was brief,thought i had a case that was speaking for itself,so to speak..dont think he was fair in his discision, and i had my case sent to appeals and now ODAR has my case back, really hope to get all my information in this time..as i as trying to do this on my own, since i cant get anyone to help me becuz i didnt "work within a 5 yr period to have a regular ssi case, im told its for supplemental disability benefits...anyway, i contacted the ODAR office today and left a msg for them to call me asap, as i need them to get some more records since i have been in and out of the hospitals all yr..Please God let them see how miserable I am on a daily basis...and get this case approved..AMEN

Judge: Evelyn M Gunn
Date Posted: 8/6/2013 5:01:39 AM
Submited By:



The Judge was fair and very knowledgeable. I was sorely prepared as a cross examiner, I am not a lawyer. Look, this Judge is following the rules and considering the testimony of the doctors. These cases all ride on your medical information. The treating physician holds all the cards and must spell out your restrictions in a written form. None of the personal suffering matters, it's the content within the four corners of the medical records that count. When it's time to testify you are discussing the documents, not your personal downfall. Get your case files and read every page, somewhere buried in those documents is the reason why your case is failing to meet the rules. Speaking of the rules, since I know you can surf the internet read the Blue Book and check to see if you actually have an ailment listed spelled out in your medical history. Remember it is the medical content being discussed. Back to Judge Gunn, she has a powerful persona and is very much in control of the room. I got the feeling she knew one of the Doctors testifying had not read the complete record, and she shut them down quickly. I got every chance to ask questions along the way, but as I stated if it is not in the record, it doesn't count and is not discussed. Judge Gunn started talking about the grid, codes, this, that and the other. To tell you the truth, there is something wonderful about an intelligent woman that knows her stuff. I was totally distracted by the professionalism she displayed, her courtroom manner was pleasant and not bad to look at either, but I digress. At the end of my hearing my symptoms kicked in, I was thinking maybe I should have gotten a lawyer to do this hearing, when I heard the Judge mention details of the case which indicated she knew what was up. Be prepared and she will help you if you have the records. Contrary to what I heard about this will be the time you can tell your story to the Judge, it is not a story from your mouth but from your paperwork and records.

Judge: Dale A Garwal
Date Posted: 6/6/2013 7:28:07 AM
Submited By: Daniel Williams



He was very rude and disrespectful towards myself, and my mother who was attending my hearing. He often stopped us from stating our case, saying he wasn't concerned with how my seizures affect family life; to us, that was key to our defense. He rudely told me that I have to continue to see a doctor even though I absolutely cannot afford to, and they haven't helped. His disrespect caused me to become stressed out, and have a small panic attack during the hearing, going into muscle spams in my right arm. I pointed this out, and he ignored it. He also refused to listen to the fact that I have been out of work for eight years, except two that lasted one month, and one that lasted two weeks. He then told me I can work a house cleaning job at gainful levels, I had to laugh out loud because I had just stated that I couldn't even keep my own home clean, how could I clean multiple homes each day every day? I spend most of my time in bed, unable to move, on a good day I require a cane to help keep me moving. He refused to really listen to anything we said, he was condescending, rude, disrespectful, and accusatory. I walked out of the hearing devastated and angered at him, and ended up in full seizure in my mom's car because of him. He denied me, calling me a lair ("over exaggerate"). This was my second full run through with Disability. Garwal also made the denial at the hearing on my first run through. I've been fighting since 2006, and reapplied in 2010. Still fighting for my life that discompassionate people like Garwal are trying to deny. If you have this judge, tell him to go away and send in another, I know will for my third attempt at Disability...

Judge: Dale A Garwal
Date Posted: 5/8/2013 12:37:04 PM
Submited By: Sharon Masson



He had a very pleasant demeanor and as a result, I felt at ease and relaxed which increased my confidence. I felt my hearing went well. If it turns out that I am denied, I will not give up!

Judge: Gail Reich
Date Posted: 5/3/2013 4:51:43 PM
Submited By: gustav



She is so kind and also fair.

Judge: Betty Roberts Barbeito
Date Posted: 5/2/2013 9:12:53 PM
Submited By:



To "An Observer of Comments": Your comments are very ill-informed. First, SSR 13-1p states, "[p]ossible examples of allegations that the Appeals Council will refer to the Division of Quality Service include, 'the ALJ is biased against claimants who receive workers compensation benefits or unemployment benefits' . . . ." Second, when an individual applies for unemployment benefits he/she is not saying that they are "ready, willing, and able" to perform work eight-hours a day, five-days per week -- the standard used by the SSA.

Judge: Betty Roberts Barbeito
Date Posted: 4/25/2013 3:51:05 PM
Submited By: An Observer of Comments



For the person who commented, "If you are collecting unemployment, you might as well withdraw" actually is correct because when you apply for unemployment you are stating you can work but have no job and you are actively looking for one so, if you are collecting it and filing for disability, there is some fraudulent behavior going on. You can either work or you're disable. Be grateful the judge doesn’t cite you for lying in court.

Judge: Sally C Reason
Date Posted: 4/11/2013 1:31:19 PM
Submited By: Still Struggling



ALJ Reason denied my claim, and reading the unfavorable decision letter, it's shocking how much she cherry-picked the information, ignored my long-time treating physician's opinion for two doctors that I had never met, and disregarded the VE testimony. Easy to see why her denial rate is so high.

Judge: Lisa D Thompson
Date Posted: 4/7/2013 8:09:51 AM
Submited By:



this lady she is not even worth to talk about very prejudice and mean

Judge: Betty Roberts Barbeito
Date Posted: 4/1/2013 10:29:23 AM
Submited By:



She is rude, disrespectful and snotty to everyone. Not even close to being fair. Doesn't know what she is doing. Puts you through the ringer and then kicks you some more. Ridiculous is the best adjective to describe it.

Judge: Sherwin F Biesman
Date Posted: 2/5/2013 5:25:44 PM
Submited By:



judge biesman made me feel uncomfotable as soon as i came into the courtroom. I know that I was treated unfairly. I hope that this doesn't happen to anyone else. If anyone has been treated unfairly by Juge Biesman I encourage you to write a letter to complain.

Judge: Betty Roberts Barbeito
Date Posted: 1/12/2013 11:49:30 AM
Submited By:



The worst ALJ ever! If you are collecting unemployment, you might as well withdraw. She is not nice to client, rep, hearing recorder or any experts. She deffenetly uses her power in an abusive way.

Judge: Evelyn M Gunn
Date Posted: 12/9/2012 8:39:43 AM
Submited By:



judge gunn was very rude. she didn't allow me to speak, other than to answer her questions. she attacked my character in my dismissal letter. she was untimely in her decision, because of all things, she went on a long medical leave. she returned and ordered a new hearing 8 months after my first hearing with her, only to cancel that hearing one day before it was to take place.

Judge: Betty Roberts Barbeito
Date Posted: 12/6/2012 4:22:41 PM
Submited By:



Very thorough but fair

Judge: Zane A Lang
Date Posted: 12/4/2012 9:54:44 PM
Submited By:



Lazy and incompetent. I have practiced law for over 20 years. Judge Lang reads file immediately before hearings and writes decisions after all while people wait hours. It is evident he is wholly unprepared. His conduct toward claimants is repugnant. His understanding of law is embarrassing to lawyers and would not be tolerated by any other judicial system. Judge lang is simple minded, doesn't know what he is doing and covers it up by being aggressive to meek people. He is just as likely to approve someone with mild limitations as he is deny someone easily disabled. What a joke

Judge: Lawrence D Wheeler
Date Posted: 12/4/2012 8:43:10 PM
Submited By:



This judge is a joke and should be removed from the ALJ panel. He does not know, or does not understand the law, or the evidence. He tells the claimants BEFORE the hearing that he is going to deny the claim no matter what. Petty officials like like give government a bad name. I am not even sure he went to law school or is even a lawyer. God only knows how he got on the ALJ panel. He is doing a great disservice to the Social Security Administration and if putting the entire department in a very bad light.

Judge: Lawrence D Wheeler
Date Posted: 12/4/2012 5:46:56 PM
Submited By:



As a witness I felt intimated, and badgered with not enough time to think a question through. The claimnet was told we need to speed this up I have other places to be today (this was a Friday late morning). Claimnet was not allowed to ask a question.If you do not understand the judges question then you shoul be able to ask a question so you can answer it properly. He said if I interupt the proceding again he would throw me out and it would be done. If I am not mistaken it is us the working people that pay him and he should have a obligation to listen to us and to read case files from begining to end instead of just zeroing in on one area and not look at the whole person and all their problems.

Judge: John W Wojciechowski
Date Posted: 11/14/2012 12:54:09 PM
Submited By:



very little knowledge or sympathy for mental impairments. Very condescending and argumentative with claimant.

Judge: Sherwin F Biesman
Date Posted: 9/25/2012 12:56:28 PM
Submited By: Raffi Shahinian



In this bleak, sad world, one prays for a sprinkling of moments that might uplift one's soul and fill one's heart with the hope of joy. For me, one of those moments is always when I discover that my hearing will be heard by the Honorable Judge Sherwin F Biesman, one of the kindest, wittiest, smartest and, dare I say, handsomest men this humble attorney has ever had the privilege of encountering.

Judge: Lawrence D Wheeler
Date Posted: 9/25/2012 12:55:17 PM
Submited By: Raffi Shahinian



In this bleak, sad world, one prays for a sprinkling of moments that might uplift one's soul and fill one's heart with the hope of joy. For me, one of those moments is always when I discover that my hearing will be heard by the Honorable Judge Lawrence D. Wheeler, one of the kindest, wittiest, smartest and, dare I say, handsomest men this humble attorney has ever had the privilege of encountering.

Judge: Lawrence D Wheeler
Date Posted: 9/7/2012 3:38:12 PM
Submited By:



If you case happens to be assigned to Judge Wheeler, consider yourself one of the unluckiest people to ever file. This guy will not grant cases as apparent by his 26% approval rate. He basically has this scheme of strong arming attorneys into withdrawing their cases by basically stating no matter what he is going to deny the case. Don't even bother arguing, it useless, even if you do not withdraw and go forward, he will just bring in the client and make up some outrageous claim, during testimony, that the claimant is not credible, giving him further reason to deny, without considering the claimant's actual case.

Judge: Gail Reich
Date Posted: 8/29/2012 4:46:16 PM
Submited By:



She is fair

Judge: Sally C Reason
Date Posted: 8/16/2012 1:09:49 PM
Submited By:



One of the toughest ALJs in California and all the West. As a SSD lawyer, I have seen most of the ALJs west of the Mississippi. She is probably the toughest. It is not just that her approval rate is low. She just makes it difficult for attorneys. Everything is a leading question to this ALJ. She comes off as fairly nice with a distinct Southern drawl. But she will absolutely make ridiculous decisions. Files need to be well developed to win with her. Funny that she is the chief ALJ in West LA. I would not say evil person like the above comment. But definitely not friendly. And more importantly, not claimant friendly at all.

Judge: Sally C Reason
Date Posted: 8/2/2012 2:22:32 PM
Submited By:



A very evil person.

Judge: Lawrence D Wheeler
Date Posted: 8/2/2012 2:21:51 PM
Submited By:



A handsome Devil.

Judge: Gail Reich
Date Posted: 8/2/2012 2:20:05 PM
Submited By:



Very fair.

Judge: Moises Penalver
Date Posted: 7/12/2012 1:08:04 PM
Submited By:



Very kind, very nice

Judge: Sherwin F Biesman
Date Posted: 7/12/2012 10:35:07 AM
Submited By:



Too bad I had the EXACT OPPOSITE response from Judge Biesman.

Judge: Lawrence D Wheeler
Date Posted: 5/11/2012 9:13:58 AM
Submited By:



Yes ALJ Wheeler is very bias. He tells you before the hearing that he has no intention of paying the claim, essentially indicating no matter what happens during the hearing he could care less. He fits in real good with ALJ Reason another bias ALJ.

Judge: Zane A Lang
Date Posted: 5/3/2012 6:47:26 PM
Submited By: Mark



I realize that if a judge rules against you, then you will tend to not want to say positive things about him or her. Well I did lose my social security case but this goes deeper. In the addendum part of his decision where his subjective comments are stated, he was insulting to me and formed an unfounded opinion that is now on record. I believe this is very unprofessional and he should be reprimanded for losing his objectivity. The burden on the disabled is huge and sometimes not handled very well because of the disability. The judge has to look at medical records and talk to job specialists and it is equally hard to make a decision. I believe however that this judge based his opinion on personal bias against me and he stated some things in his finding that I will be complaint about. I can accepts not getting disability but to say that I am trying to pad my pockets and to question my truthfulness with insulting adjectives is not acceptable.

Judge: Sherwin F Biesman
Date Posted: 4/13/2012 12:04:30 PM
Submited By: Marianne L.



It felt like it took forever for my hearing date to come. I was nervous about my hearing after reading some of the other feedbacks on this site. Judge Biesman made me feel comfortable right away. He was very professional and at the same time he didn't make me feel like I was trying to get something I didn't deserve. I could tell he read all my paperwork and truly understood what I have been going through. I left there feeling really good about the Social Security system. I am sorry for anyone who has felt they were treated unfairly.

Judge: Lawrence D Wheeler
Date Posted: 4/2/2012 8:10:21 PM
Submited By:



Judge asked me and my colleagues to withdraw on just about every hearing we were scheduled. He would call us in early and tell us he was going to deny the claim....but it's up to us if we want to proceed....not a fair judge at all!!

Judge: Lawrence D Wheeler
Date Posted: 3/20/2012 8:45:05 AM
Submited By:



I agree with the previous comments about this ALJ. He actually brags about having cases dismissed and will tell the attorney/rep that he has no intention of paying the claim. He has already made his mind up about denying a claim prior to testimony even being taken.

Judge: Sally C Reason
Date Posted: 3/19/2012 4:00:19 AM
Submited By: Sally Jones



This judge, Sally Reason, is the most unprofessional, crass, cruel, **** of a MORON I have ever had the MISFORTUNE to come across in my life. She must be the most miserable person I have EVER met, and enjoys, clearly, taking out her misery on others by using her dictatorial control over people who are SICK and WEAK. She is HORRIBLE and has NO HEART to speak of. I hope she gets SICK and dies a LONG, HORRIBLE death with an illness no doctor can ever figure out and doesn't believe her, the way she doesn't believe any patients who come in, out of sheer desperation, against every fiber of their being, against their pride, who have never done anything but GIVE their entire lives but, because of a stroke of bad luck, they are now desperate and truly alone, and NEED help. I have a letter from my psychiatrist, which I am positive she never read, warning her of the high risk of lethality of my situation (I have already attempted suicide, SERIOUSLY, and ONLY survived by the grace of God, unfortunately, because I am in horrible, chronic, intractable pain and don't have a dime to my name. If healthy, I can work and make a pretty penny. But I CAN NOT WORK. She so much as called me a liar when I asked why, when my psychiatrist was insistent he be there as my witness, that - not only could he NOT come, but he would be turned away and it would jeopardize my hearing. She said she did not believe me and asked for names. I gave her 3. She said she did not believe me. This woman should be removed from the bench. She is a menace and just a ROTTEN human being. I hope she suffers a long, PAINFUL illness, and no one will help her. **** HER.

Judge: Lawrence D Wheeler
Date Posted: 3/11/2012 4:23:09 PM
Submited By:



I had a hearing before Judge Wheeler, he was very nasty and rude. Showed no compassion and eventually dismissed my case. I wonder why the SSA isn't concerned about his high rate of dismissals and low approvals, his numbers are way out of line with the rest of W.LA office, state of CA and the nation as a whole. SSA seemed concerned recently about a ALJ who had a very high rate of approvals and began to investigate him. Why are't they investigating this judge who is just the opposite in his decisions?