Lansing, Michigan ODAR Office

At the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) in Lansing, Michigan, 7 different administrative law judges (ALJ) conduct Social Security Disability (SSD) hearings and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) hearings. Currently, in Lansing, the average wait time for a SSI or SSD hearing is 16.0 months. The average case processing time in Lansing is 458 days.The Lansing average for winning a SSI or SSD disibility hearing is 46%. Click on the name of one of the ALJs below to see detailed information about their hearing results. This information for the Lansing ODAR office was last updated on 7/8/2016.

Average statistics
OfficeJudgesAvg. Hearing
Wait Time
Average
Processing Time
Dispositions
Per Day Per ALJ
Cases
Dismissed
Cases
Approved
Cases
Denied
Lansing 7 16.0 months 458 days 2.1 18% 46% 36%
Michigan15.6 months492 days1.917%49%34%
National Average:16.5 months517 days1.920%44%36%
AVERAGE TIME
Hearing Wait Time: 16.00 months
Dispositions Per Day Per ALJ 2.06
Average Processing Time 458 days
Cases Pending 4848
Dispositions 2337
New Cases 3131
Hearings In Person 83%
Video Hearings 17%
LIST OF JUDGES / 18

LATEST COMMENTS         to leave your own comment, select a judge from the list above and leave a comment on that judge's page

Judge: Lawrence E Blatnik
5/31/2016 8:30:51 AM



smart, fair, knew the record. I have been practicing 30 yrs, and teaching ssa law. I will take this judge anyday.


Judge: Ramona L Fernandez
4/10/2016 9:53:01 AM



This judge completely over look dds doctors. Lansing mi that said i was totally disable and unable to work 5 month ago .this judge turn me down. base on a doctor in the year 2014. That said i could do light work.with my heart failure. Carotid artherosclerosis. Nonischemic cardiomyopthy hypertension. Degenerative dics disease. 0 rating...


Judge: Ramona L Fernandez
4/7/2016 9:18:16 PM



After 35 years of service and hard work. I am made to go to work with a bad back and a weak heart .heart failure can kill. Please be please don t do this to someone else. Thank you.


Judge: Paul W Jones
3/3/2016 9:24:02 AM



"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." ~Friedrich Nietzsche~

S.C
Judge: Ramona L Fernandez
2/4/2016 3:41:15 PM



I have just received a fully favorable decision from Judge Fernandez two weeks after appearing in front of her at my hearing. She is very understanding and will listen to you carefully. Just be very honest with her.

Anonymous
Judge: Paul W Jones
1/25/2016 11:26:40 PM



I had judge jones last week and he was great!! My lawyer and myself were very prepared for our case and were able to have all of my records submitted to him about a week prior to my court date . He was very cordial with us and was never condensing toward me. He came out asking question that I answered quickly and honestly. My case was paid. He comes off as a judge that does not want to see laziness and people trying to get over on the system which from what I hear Is a on going problem in Lansing and any other city or State for that matter. If something is legitimately wrong you go in there and be you!!using a cane or walker if not always the best idea in my opinion unless you use It 100% of the time.My best advise is go in there and be honest and the rest will fall into place ! I would definitely recommend this judge to anybody who gets him!if your sick or injured be honest and don't embellish it just makes you look stupid on this comment section! Sorry for rambling đź‘Ť


Judge: Paul W Jones
1/23/2016 11:17:55 AM



What follows is the Administrative Law Judge job description for the U.S. government, nowhere does it state that an ALJs duty is "to protect tax money". That statement is the most ridiculous thing I've ever read and obviously written by an egomaniac.... Summary Responsible for adjudicating claims for benefits offered by government. Reviews evidence and examines other factors and documentation to determine ruling. Works for government. Primary responsibilities Adjudicate claims for benefits offered by government. Work on cases assigned by the government to determine: (1) a person's eligibility for various Social Security or workers' compensation benefits, (2) protection of the environment, (3) the enforcement of health and safety regulations, (4) employment discrimination, and (5) compliance with economic regulatory requirements. Review applicant’s case and examine background. Check all reports and facts thoroughly, including criminal history, immigration and citizen status, and intelligence reports. Prepare analysis for government recommending specific courses of action. Show justification for recommended course of action. Maintain security clearance. Supervise support personnel. Research and analyze laws, regulations, policies, and precedent decisions to prepare for hearings and to determine conclusions Issue subpoenas. Determine existence and amount of liability according to current laws. Authorize payment of valid claims. Compromise on settlements. Monitor activities of trials and hearings. Explain rulings to claimants and how they may appeal. Prepare written decisions. Evaluate claim applications, birth and death certificates, and employer records.

Jim
Judge: Christopher Ambrose
11/6/2015 9:34:17 AM



I appeared before Judge Ambrose yesterday. I do not yet know the outcome of the case- but the Judge was helpful, fair, compassionate, and made me feel like my family's case really mattered. He asked very pertinent questions, and I felt he did an outstanding job. I do not know if we will get a favorable or unfavorable ruling, but I felt like he really listened, and will apply the law fairly. I am thankful our case was assigned to him.


Judge: Ramona L Fernandez
8/25/2015 2:05:02 PM



I have received a Fully Favorable decision from this Judge within three weeks of appearing in front of her. She is very considerate and asks questions to help her better understand your condition. Tell the truth. Be honest and complete in your answers and you will have nothing to fear. She is fair and just. I am very grateful for the time and consideration she gave me

Tiara D.
Judge: Richard P Gartner
7/28/2015 7:49:10 AM



My lawyer told me that Judge Gartner was a new judge so our attention was on high and we were hoping for the best but prepared for the worst. I'm in the hospital now as we speak and was unable to attend my hearing due to hospitalization and some haunting health impairments. I was able to get a letter from doctor by the skin of my teeth so that Judge Gartner wouldnt dismiss my case due to me being unable to physically appear. We sat by the phone waiting to see if he was going to postpone or dismiss. Surprisingly he approved my case without even speaking or seeing me. I was floored and excited!! My lawyer and I were amazed because I was told that something like this was rare and highly unlikely. I want to thank him for looking and observerving the evidence and realizing that I am in a position of health decline. I am honored to to be the first person from what I see to write a honorable report on Judge Gartner. This will be a huge burden taken off of my family and myself. I now can pay for my own medications and can pay out my tab at a few of my health appointment locations. I've read only a few reviews and I must say I believe I was assigned to the most favorable guy in the building!! Thank you Judge Gartner for everything and it would have been my honor and a pleasure if I was able to meet you in person.

Shelley hintta
Judge: Thomas L Walters
7/13/2015 8:15:40 PM



Judge Thomas Walters was very kind and compassionate towards me and my disability. I have been trying since 1999, with a lawyer every time and every time i get no good news. I got my approval letter today and nearly cried when i saw that he was on my side.


Judge: Paul W Jones
5/27/2015 7:45:06 AM



I have known and practiced in front of Judge Jones for a number of years. He is arrogant, has made racist comments to me, and has expressed a personal philosophy contrary to his position as a judge. he should not be a Social Security ALJ. If you are a claimant, make damn sure you have an attorney who knows his propensities going into the hearing with you. If he miss treats you file a formal complaint.


Judge: Nicholas M Ohanesian
5/3/2015 6:28:02 PM



I went before this judge in October 2013. My first impression he seemed like a normal judge, until I received his decision. This judge did not prepare my case very well. First of all he seemed to minimize my conditions, I have lukemia, but he's in remission so he must be okay. Did not consider the chemotherapy medicine I take everyday to keep it in remission how it makes every joint in my body hurt. I lost the use of my arm and hand in a snowmobile accident in 95. I was 37 at the time and felt I could still work and I did. Seems like that's held against you. Now I've developed degenerative joint disease in my good arm for putting double the work on it. But you can lift 10 lbs on occasion. You know it must be nice for people that don't have any ailments to tell people like my self what their capable of doing. I've worked for 38 years paid into social security, they act like this is their money their giving me. Now I have to play their game to try to get my money I paid in.

Jimmy
Judge: Thomas L Walters
12/2/2014 10:44:17 AM



I con not believe that social security has not tried to start having case workers Fromm ssd come to my home to see what my life as become do to my disability they could come see every six months to check and see for them selfes . I fell in 1999 and broke my back and had 4 titanium cages put in and was not able to work I won ssd in 2003 and was unable to work after 3 yrs I would slowly try and pick jobs and ask favors from my union to help me get back. there is far more to working than just a pay check I would work off and on until 2007 and then went full part time by that I maen that I made so much money when I did work that did not need ssd.BUT I TORE MY BODY APART My KNEE WERE COMPENSATING FOR MY BACK IN HAD MULTI SURGERYS ON MY KNEES ONLY TO BE CRIPPLED NOW BOTH KNEES NEED TO BE REPLCACED.had partial on left knee that did not work applied for ssd in 2012 turned down hired Ron miles he did nothing no medical records for judge who I seen on sept 15 2014 it is now it is dec 2 2014 just got email from Ron was denied I have to take 100 mil morphine three time aday and lyrica 150 mil once I also take depressing meds who will hire me can't even walk from one side of my house to the other yet WAS DENIED AFTER THREE YEARS OF FIGHTING, so sad DO NOT HIRE RON MILES

Brenda MacDonald
Judge: Paul W Jones
10/23/2014 8:54:10 AM



My hearing was with Judge Paul Jones and he turned everything I said around. An example of this: Judge Jones asked me about my boyfriend. I told him that we broke up January 2, 2014. He then went on to say that I was able to keep a supportive relationship with my boyfriend and family. The only time my family was mentioned is when I stated my grandson mowed my lawn for me. How did he get that I had a supportive relationship with my boyfriend and family. I don't have a boyfriend and my family isn't supportive. This is just one example. I thought he was very arrogant and full of himself.

florence
Judge: Nicholas M Ohanesian
9/3/2014 8:31:07 AM



He was really nice . My daughter was nerves but he was respectful.

amy
Judge: Thomas L Walters
8/7/2014 9:16:02 AM



Awesome Judge. He is fair, kind, compassionate and really understands people. He allowed me to elaborate on the struggles I am going through. We need more people like him in judicial positions.

rhonda
Judge: Thomas L Walters
6/8/2014 4:30:17 PM



I had this judge in 1996 i received a favorable decision from him. He was very pleasent and polite. He understood that the pain i had was present 5 days out of 7. We laughed and talked about how being able to receive ssdi helps to releive the stress on a family. Wish he was back on the bench in detroit. I went back to work in 2003 after my husband abandon me and our children. I worked until 2010 and was unable to take the pain. so now i have been fighting since 2011 and have been denied over and over again.

pim
Judge: Nicholas M Ohanesian
6/4/2014 7:32:12 PM



I had my hearing with Judge Ohanesian in the past week and I found him to be fair, respectful,understanding, and patient. He awarded me disabled which I am so grateful! I have been on a long, painful, and stressing medical journey and thank God I had him for my case!


Judge: Paul W Jones
5/6/2014 6:56:55 PM



This guy is by far the biggest ***** i have ever encountered in over many years of Social Security practice. Be ready to go to the Appeals Council if your hearing is with him.


Judge: Nicholas M Ohanesian
4/23/2014 12:29:46 PM



According to this Judge, marijuana use is why I'm Suffering for Bi-polar, Personality disorder, and social anxiety, Funny when that has been the only thing that helped my symptoms. Even after you quit your still looked at as a Drug addict for Marijuana use, so basically it's stupid to ever tell your doctors the truth and I guess I would have better off to have lied. When i had my hearing with this Judge I was Clean from Pot for 6 months, He denied me saying " If I quit using substances, I would be able to work" So he obviously doesent believe a word you tell him. He needs to be fired!!!!!!


Judge: Ramona L Fernandez
2/13/2014 11:56:28 AM



she is a very fair judge she gives you a great turnout thank you so much


Judge: James J Kent
12/16/2013 5:20:24 PM



I received my decision. I feel after reading it that he gave greater weight to the Social Security evaluation doctor than to my own doctor who sees me regularly. I have researched online and this alone seems to be the number 1 factor in getting the council to remand this back to the ALJ for another decision. Judge Kent does contradict himself a few times in my report. He also states that I stated something which I know I did not and never would have. I even had documentation on me that day which he never requested to view which would have also shown that I did not state what he says I stated to him. he also has provided me with a sex change several times in his decision, by referring to me as "her" on numerous occasions in my report. I have never been a her, never wanted to try to become a her either. I am not sure why he feels I need to become one or that I am one. He did not take into consideration that my condition is one in which it becomes worse over time hence degenerative.

richard schram
Judge: Nicholas M Ohanesian
12/13/2013 2:20:12 PM



i saw judge ohanesian 12-13-2013 and i thought he was a very decent judge. after briefly looking over my case off the record he advised me to return with an attorney. he didnt have to do that ,he went out of his way to give the advice.

marydelacruz adams
Judge: Thomas L Walters
12/7/2013 2:57:02 PM



I appeared before this judge September 30,2013 he was polite and attentive wasn't rude at all. He seems like a very fair judge and even though it's been over 60 days I'm still waiting on my decision. I hope and pray that he decided in my favor I haven't worked in 4 years due to my severe condition.


Judge: James J Kent
12/4/2013 5:19:30 PM



Not sure what to think of this guy. prior to my hearing I was informed by my attorney that this judge has a very high approval rate. during my hearing I felt intimidated. After my hearing my attorney tells me she can not see how I could not have won just wait for the decision to come in the mail. Still waiting. I do not have the same level of confidence. Because I am not sure how to feel about this hearing as of yet since I do not have the decision, I am going to rate right down the middle and give him the benefit of the doubt.


Judge: Christopher Ambrose
12/2/2013 6:54:01 AM



Judge Ambrose is one of the most thoughtful and fair judges out there. I've gone before him many times and he is always prepared, knows the record, is kind to my clients, and has well-reasoned decisions.

V.B
Judge: Paul W Jones
11/18/2013 3:59:04 PM



Judge jones is a fair judge. Im not very old but i been thru alot of things in my lifetime. I thought the judge would pre judge me from this blogs but to me he was fair and understanding. I do believe that i let him lead the conversation more than i should have but i think he gave me a fair shake. I just should have came a lil more prepard. i wasn't gonna blog but i think he deserve to have someone say something good about him since you all are trying to bash him. I just want you to know Judge jones i think you a great Judge and did a fair job no matter what others say

APL
Judge: B. L Blair
11/13/2013 6:07:19 PM



Thank you for being a very fair judge and taking your time to listen to my case. I am very happy with the outcome.

Mike Durrant
Judge: B. L Blair
10/24/2013 6:53:12 AM



Judge Blair, was very fair, and listened intently, asked only pertinent questions and was very quick, thanks for being fair!


Judge: Paul W Jones
8/28/2013 6:03:45 AM



judge jones does a scathing cross of claimants, he cant stand laziness and dishonesty. If those factors aren't present, i believe u do get a fair hearing. After all, sympathy is NOT a basis for eligibility. His tough detailed questioning is to try to expose fraud, if its there. there were cases i was sorry to lose, but frankly, i agreed with the guy! dont we all know some of this psych stuff is hot air and pity parties? SSA benefits are awarded based on functional deficits, NOT diagnosis or sympathy! yes his manner can be rough, but he's SUPPOSED to guard our tax $! If u get this judge, be ready to explain how/why u cant function. He will get into every detail. if u are honestly disabled, just answer the man.


Judge: Dennis M Matulewicz
5/9/2013 7:25:22 AM



One of the most fair and kind ALJs in the SSA system. He is always respectful of clients and representatives/attorneys. He is well versed in the file prior to the hearing and allows wide latitude for the client to present his/her case. He listens to the testimony and makes rational decisions.

Keshawn Thompson
Judge: B. L Blair
4/26/2013 6:12:40 AM



Very nice and understanding and really listens to you.


Judge: Paul W Jones
4/17/2013 11:45:09 AM



I knew going in front of a judge was going to be hard, but I don't think it could have been any worse. Judge Jones was so pompis, rude, intimating and arrogant that I felt sick after leaving. He has certainly took his power as an ego trip. I have absolutely no hope after going in front of him.


Judge: Paul W Jones
4/8/2013 1:38:16 PM



This man seems to feel that his job is to inflict as much pain on the disabled as is humanly possible. He smiles and comes across as a nice guy, but he's not. His questioning of clients about their sex lives borders on being prurient. He clearly is denying benefits to deserving claimants. When the sheep are separated from the goats, he is going to have to answer for the hurt he has inflicted on the least among us.


Judge: Ramona L Fernandez
3/22/2013 9:43:59 AM





D MICHAEL DUDLEY
Judge: Christopher Ambrose
2/27/2013 9:22:38 AM



I HAVE APPEARED BEFORE JUDGE AMBROSE ON MULTIPLE OCCASIONS BOTH WHEN HE WAS A MAGISTRATE OF WORKERS COMPENSATION AND AS AN ALJ DECIDING SOCIAL SECURITY CLAIM. HAVING REPRESENTED DISABLED INDIVIDUALS SINCE 1975, IN MY OPINION JUDGE AMBROSE IS EXTREMELY FAIR IN HIS DECISIONS AND IS A TRULY EXCELLENT JUDGE. I HAVE NEVER SEEN HIM BE ANYTHING BUT KIND TO CLAIMANTS EVEN IF ULTIMATELY HE COULD NOT AWARD BENEFITS TO THEM. HE HAS A TOUGH JOB TO DO AND DOES IT FAIRLY. UNFORTUNATELY NOT EVERYONE CAN WIN.

Zoey
Judge: Christopher Ambrose
1/30/2013 3:22:08 PM



Christopher Ambrose was supervisor of MI workers comp judges. He seemed to lack control of them. They ruled against law, lied on litigants etc... He himself contacted litigants personally without going through their attorney, I guess to intimidate them. I have a letter but will use it in another venue.


Judge: Paul W Jones
12/6/2012 8:54:31 AM






Judge: Nicholas M Ohanesian
11/27/2012 5:47:36 AM



This judge does not follow the law. He makes up his own law.


Judge: James J Kent
10/9/2012 6:58:52 PM



this judge comes off as a nice person but he really isn't. my case was denied because he didn't pay attention to my medical files and i was denied. if you get this judge dont be fooled..


Judge: Christopher Ambrose
7/30/2012 5:50:22 PM



this is in response to rose's comment. i don't believe for a second alj ambrose swore at anyone. also he can't order anyone to have surgery. also a younger person (under 50) has to prove he can't do his past work, and all other work. so, whatever happened, i would like to see the written decision. it can't say what you claim.

Rose
Judge: Christopher Ambrose
7/27/2012 1:51:35 AM



I have a question for you, if a younger man comes before you with a bad back but has worked since he's been 14years old, not desk jobs lifting and such. Is it right for a disability just to swear at him and order that he has back surgery?