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 22.0 months. The average case processing time in Los Angeles West is 688 days.The Los Angeles West average for winning a SSI or SSD disibility hearing is 37%. 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 3/9/2018.

Average statistics
OfficeJudgesAvg. Hearing
Wait Time
Processing Time
Per Day Per ALJ
Los Angeles West 10 22.0 months 688 days 2.1 25% 37% 37%
California18.4 months609 days1.921%44%35%
National Average:17.3 months577 days1.921%43%36%
Full NameDismissedApprovedDenied

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

Judge: Sally C Reason
3/1/2019 5:52:49 PM

All of the vitriolic comments about Sally C. Reason are justified. In her decisions she does make false representations of diagnoses and prognoses by claimants' physicians. She does misrepresent claimants' testimony regarding daily activities. She does cherry pick from the records. She does invent damning "facts" for which there is no evidence in the record. ***** In the case with which I am intimately familiar, Sally C. Reason declared the claimant "less than credible" because Claimant's work ethic pushed her to work fulltime, with unrelenting pain, for 17 years before severe, degenerative spinal injuries and related bone diseases became unbearable at the age of 62. ***** In other cases, Sally C. Reason rejected a claim because "Claimant had an extremely poor work history and showed little propensity to work in her lifetime" AND another claimant "has not had a consistent history of prior employment on a full-time basis, calling into question her motivation to work." ***** So...According to Sally C. Reason, having a "poor work history" is evidence a person isn't disabled, while continuing to work past the onset of a degenerative disease is evidence a person isn't disabled. ***** Among Sally C. Reason's decisions that have been overturned by the federal district court, she repeatedly has been admonished for dismissing the opinions of the treating physicians: (1) "The ALJ Failed To Properly Consider Plaintiff's Treating Physician's Opinion....(Reason's) "conclusion is contradicted by the record." --(2) "The ALJ may not substitute her lay opinion for those of the medical sources in the record." *** "Because the ALJ failed to provide adequate reasons for rejecting Dr. ______'s opinions, this Court credits them as a matter of law." --(3) "The ALJ's improper rejection of Dr. _____'s opinion and substitution of her own lay medical opinion constitutes reversible error....Indeed, it appears that the ALJ's RFC assessment is nothing more than her own lay medical opinion." ***** IN THE PARTICULAR CASE I WITNESSED, during the hearing the Sally C. Reason asked, "Are you able to do your cooking?" Claimant: "No." Sally C. Reason: "Have you cooked a lot more in the past and don't do it anymore, or...?" Claimant: "Before the accident I used to cook a lot, but now I don't ever cook." -- In her decision, Sally C. Reason reported "(Claimant) Is Able to Prepare Simple Meals." ***** Sally C. Reason GROSSLY MISREPRESENTED TESTIMONY OF CLAIMANT REGARDING TREATMENTS SHE HAS RECEIVED FOR PAIN. Sally C. Reason wrote, "The Claimant noted that no surgery has been recommended for her condition, she has not received any pain relief injections in some time." --- Sally C. Reason uses that statement to support her accusation of the Claimant's "exaggerating" her symptoms. --- (1) In that statement, however, Sally C. Reason carefully OMITS THE CONTEXTS surrounding the "no surgery" and "pain relief injections" references. Sally C. Reason carefully avoids evidence in the record that explains the trigger point injections were discontinued because they were ineffective in treating Claimant's severe injuries; Sally C. Reason presents that as evidence that Claimant's injuries weren't serious enough to merit continuing the injections -- the exact opposite of the truth. --- (2) Sally C. Reason states "no surgery has been recommended for her condition" but omits the fact that none has been recommended because there is no appropriate surgery for Plaintiff's injury. ***** Sally C. Reason FALSELY CHARACTERIZED THE FREQUENCY AND REGULARITY OF TREATMENT BY CLAIMANT'S TREATING PHYSICIAN. Sally C. Reason declared, "There is sparse evidence of regular, ongoing treatment with Dr. _____ between 2014 and 2016." The record, however, shows that Dr. ____ treated the claimant *18* times between 2014 and 2016, in a regular and ongoing basis. ***** Sally C. Reason claimed "There are no records of diagnostic scans showing degenerative disc or joint conditions." Earlier in her decision, however, Sally C. Reason noted, "A thoracic spine CT scan revealed multi-level degenerative changes including compression deformities and disc protrusion." -- It is impossible to argue that a CT scan which reveals "multi-level degenerative changes including compression deformities and disc protrusion" — a form of spinal disc deterioration that typically causes back pain — is not a diagnostic scan showing degenerative disc conditions. ***** Sally C. Reason falsely claimed the latest CT scan shows "no further deterioration or additional spine changes." In reality, that CT scan reveals two new compression fractures, a new disc protrusion, and degeneration of an existing compression fracture of "up to 70% anterior height loss." While you might not be familiar with the terminology, any orthopedic surgeon will confirm those new conditions indeed represent "further deterioration or spine changes." ***** Sally C. Reason FALSELY CHARACTERIZED RESULTS of The Newest Thoracic Spine CT Scan vs. Earlier CT Scan Results. Sally C. Reason stated, "In fact, as noted above, a thoracic spine CT scan showed the same multi-level degenerative changes" as seen in an earlier CT scan. That simply is untrue. The newest thoracic spine CT scan represents the first time disc protrusion has been observed, and it represents the first appearance in the record of two ADDITIONAL compression fractures. ***** Sally C. Reason Falsely Declared the Injuries to be "Unlikely to Produce Intensity and Persistence of Pain the Plaintiff Reports." Sally C. Reason's omission of the newly discovered spinal compression resulting in up to 70% anterior height loss conveniently makes it unnecessary for her to explain why her layman's viewpoint of the effects of a 70% thoracic compression fracture should be accepted over that of the accepted viewpoint of the entire medical community. ----- According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), "The loss of height that results from a compression fracture may lead to chronic back pain...and accelerate the degeneration of adjacent spinal segments. The back pain and associated fatigue can severely limit a patient’s quality of life...." The NIH is describing exactly the symptoms reported by the Claimant, under exactly the conditions reported by the Claimant. ***** Sally C. Reason POSED A MISLEADING HYPOTHETICAL TO THE VOCATIONAL EXPERT, omitting most of the Claimant's impairments and limitations. This is one of Sally C. Reason's common tactics, for which she already has been reprimanded by the district court. (More on that later.) ***** Sally C. Reason refused to allow Claimant's attorney to cross-examine the 10-year retired "rent a doctor" who Sally C. Reason had arranged to testify -- based upon his cursory review of the medical history -- to rebut the findings of the two board certified specialists who treated the Claimant for the previous 5 years. ***** Sally C. Reason used another of her favorite tactics: citing the Claimant's "daily activities" as reason for finding her not credible. Sally C. Reason repeatedly has had her decisions overturned despite the The Ninth Circuit Court's repeated declaration that, "The mere fact that a plaintiff has carried on certain daily activities DOES NOT IN ANY WAY DETRACT from her credibility as to her overall disability. The ALJ must explain how the claimant's ability to perform these daily activities translates into an ability to do activities that are transferrable to a work setting." --- Inasmuch as fewer than 1% of claimants who are denied benefits appeal in federal court, Sally C. Reason continues to use vague "daily activities" as a reason to deny benefits -- knowing that more than 99% of the time she'll get away with it. ***** STILL NOT CONVINCED of Sally C. Reason duplicity in rendering her decisions? Here are two different reasons she gave for rejecting two different Claimants' claims. ---- (Claimant #1) "Despite the claimant's complaints of chronic pain throughout her body, she was not prescribed a strong regimen of narcotic-based pain medication ordinarily prescribed for severe and unremitting pain." ---- (Claimant #2) "Claimant regularly filled prescriptions for pain medication, which indicates the pain medication succeeded in controlling her pain symptoms. Impairments that can be controlled efficiently with medication are not disabling." ***** So, Sally C. Reason sees NOT taking pain medication as indicative of a claimant being "not credible," and Sally C. Reason sees TAKING pain medication as indicative of a claimant being "not credible." ***** Here are some of the reasons cited by district court judges in overturning decisions by Sally C. Reason. (1) "The ALJ Failed To Properly Consider Plaintiff's Treating Physician's Opinion. THIS CONCLUSION IS CONTRADICTED BY THE RECORD." (2) "The ALJ may not substitute her lay opinion for those of the medical sources in the record." (3) "In posing a hypothetical to a vocational expert, the ALJ must accurately reflect all of the claimant's limitations." (4) "The ALJ's description of plaintiff's daily activities is incomplete and misleading." (5) "THE ALJ INAPPROPRIATELY DISCOUNTED PLAINTIFF'S CREDIBILITY AND HIS SUBJECTIVE COMPLAINT." (6) "The ALJ Failed To Properly Assess Plaintiff's Credibility. Substantial evidence did not support the ALJ's finding that Plaintiff's testimony about the intensity, persistence and limiting effects of his symptoms was not fully credible." ***** Conclusion: Either Sally C. Reason is astoundingly incompetent, or she is a vile human being. ***** THIS SHOULD TELL YOU ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SALLY C. REASON: When a mentally retarded girl turned 18, SSA held a "redetermination hearing" to determine if she was disabled under the definition for adults. Sally C. Reason's decision was overturned by the U.S. District Court for several reasons, including this -- I will emphasize certain words by using all caps: ***** "The ALJ's reason for discounting Plaintiff's credibility is that her assertion of debilitating mental limitations is 'inconsistent with her testimony that she graduated from high school and plans to attend community college classes.' The ALJ repeats this statement elsewhere in the opinion: 'The claimant's ability to function as an adult is shown by her academic success in completing high school education and her plans to enroll in a community college program.' ***** "THE ALJ OVERSTATES AND MISSTATES the strength of the evidence regarding Plaintiff's education. The ALJ never mentions or discusses the extensive evidence of the limited, non-competitive nature of Plaintiff's education. Plaintiff's mother and counsel explain that STATE LAW REQUIRES EVERY STUDENT TO REMAIN IN SCHOOL UNTIL GRADUATION. ----- Plaintiff's mother testified that Plaintiff was in regular classes, but the curriculum was modified and she was not graded the same way. She was given accommodations and special day classes. HER TEACHERS REPORTED THAT SHE WORKS AT A DIFFERENT SLOWER PACE AND DOES NOTHING IN CLASS. SHE NEEDED SUPERVISION AND ASSISTANCE to complete homework assignments. PLAINTIFF ACHIEVED ONLY 3 OF 12 GOALS IN SCHOOL. ***** ----- Her COMMUNITY COLLEGE INSTRUCTION IS LIMITED TO ONE SPECIAL EDUCATION DEVELOPMENT CLASS in phonetics, reading and writing. The ALJ opinion does not mention or discuss any of this extensive evidence of the limited nature of Plaintiff's education. THE ALJ'S CHARACTERIZATION OF PLAINTIFF'S SCHOOL SUCCESS IS GROSSLY OVERSTATED. Plaintiff's schooling is not a clear and convincing reason for rejecting Plaintiff's credibility. THE ALJ IMPROPERLY DISCOUNTED PLAINTIFF'S CREDIBILITY FOR REASONS THAT ARE NEITHER CLEAR AND CONVINCING NOR SUPPORTED BY SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE." ========== Think about that. Sally C. Reason refused a retarded woman's claim because 1) as per state law, as a girl she attended high school...in a special class with special help and with limited success...which Sally C. Reason describes as "academic success" and 2) she plans to take a single special community college class created for mentally disabled adults. ******* Based upon the above evidence, it would appear that Sally C. Reason's decisions are that of a vile human being.

Judge: Sally C Reason
3/1/2019 1:37:23 PM

a * d

Judge: Gail Reich
1/12/2019 11:14:33 PM

Gail Reich was very professional and personable. I wrote my own briefing which she commented on and asked if I was planning on being an attorney anytime soon! Right away she made me feel comfortable and was very fair! Thank you Gail Reich.

Judge: Regina L Sleater
10/21/2018 12:56:20 PM

Judge Regina L. Sleater once came to work still intoxicated and when she opened the door to the office kitchen cabinet she slammed it into her head so hard that she passed out on the floor... when she worked in Anchorage, Alaska...she also had liquid lunches at Simon and Seaford and would leave with her glass half full.

Judge: Sally C Reason
9/26/2018 1:41:00 AM

She made false claims of no proof of disability when all of my records were brought to my trial, all records shown by my attorney.

Judge: Barbara Dunn
8/25/2018 9:39:40 PM

i dont give a **** *** even if she see this comment of mine! now, I dont have my ssi, and i need money to get into some housing and get myself a home!

David Marler
Judge: Peter J Baum
7/30/2018 12:10:10 PM

Judge Baum. He is a very straight shooting judge and is very fair!

Judge: Barbara Dunn
3/31/2018 11:03:17 PM

TREAD WITH CAUTION IF YOU END UP IN COURT AND HAVE TO DEAL WITH THIS *****...REALLY. I'm 60 years old and I've been diagnosed with Bi-Polar and PTSD by my psychiatrist. Guess what??? You've guessed it right!!!

unlucky person to have this judge
Judge: Loranzo Fleming
3/27/2018 5:27:46 PM

This Judge seems friendly enough and will deny anyway possible even to the extent of having doctors refute SSDI own doctors report

Judge: Loranzo Fleming
2/26/2018 7:53:39 PM

Nice guy, although not sure how the hearing went for I've never been to one. My hearing lasted about two hours, but half of the hearing a vocational expert was talking and another 30 minutes or so I was out of the room while a doctor was giving their findings.. lawyer said the length of the hearing along with the doctors oath and the vocational expert findings we're all good signs for me... But Im still not sure what to believe. Judge said he may want to have another hearing (forget what it's called) where he'd call in more experts, but also said because I have over 19000 pages of history on me he may not want to because of all the extra time it would take mailing doctors back and forth etc... Not a clue what any of that means.. anyway, had hearing Feb 1st 18 and it's been about a month. Hoping it doesn't take another 2 months to get the results...

Judge: Sally C Reason
2/14/2018 8:16:19 PM

All the Above !! she don't give a ****. lol

Sandra Barnes
Judge: Robin Rosenbluth
12/30/2017 7:05:40 AM

MY opinion of this judge is she is very PREJUDICE, I saw it in her demeanor as I was sitting there with my 8 yr old daughter who”s been suffering from numerous seizures since 2009, I applied for this in 2014 & waited for nearly 3 yrs for a hearing & this ***JUDICE judge decided that my daughter was not ill enough (visibly) to her eyes but I would know since I’m her mother , however GOD is the ULTIMATE JUDGE, NOT U ARE NO ONE ELSE, -0 rating

Sandra Barnes
Judge: Robin Rosenbluth
12/30/2017 7:04:32 AM

MY opinion of this judge is she is very PREJUDICE, I saw it in her demeanor as I was sitting there with my 8 yr old daughter who”s been suffering from numerous seizures since 2009, I applied for this in 2014 & waited for nearly 3 yrs for a hearing & this ***JUDICE judge decided that my daughter was not ill enough (visibly) to her eyes but I would know since I’m her mother , however GOD is the ULTIMATE JUDGE, NOT U ARE NO ONE ELSE, 🙌🏽 -0 rating

Judy Fujimoto
Judge: Betty Roberts Barbeito
10/3/2017 7:00:19 PM

Dear Judge Barbeito I hope you read this. You are reviewing my case. My symptoms are getting worse I have bipolar, depression and anxiety which cannot be denied in my record. I also receive Botox on my eyes by a neurologist now before it was a opthomoligist. The neurologist on the phone needs to know what Blephorspasm is before saying anything else my neurologist will say differently. I will reaply if denied due to my severe disabilities. Writhed by a friend due to vision issues. J.Fujimoto 7101 Cynthia Starkey.

Judge: John P Giannikas
9/9/2017 1:21:33 AM

I just hope and pray that this guy die soon rather than later

Judge: Lawrence D Wheeler
8/16/2017 9:43:30 PM

I have had cancer that started up my anus just like Farrah Fossett and spread almost to my head , I am taking morphine and Prozac , from the minute I wake up to the minute I go to sleep .I don't know which way is up or down and your Honorable Judge Lawrence Wheeler , told me to go back to work . Have a great day y'all , you see I drive for a living I hope forgot sake I will not be driving through your neighborhood

Michael Dietz
Judge: Elizabeth Watson
7/30/2017 3:17:09 AM

Judge: Betty Roberts Barbeito
7/21/2017 12:48:47 AM

I agree, Barbeito is horrid. I was set up for a teleconference hearing. The proctors could not get the equipment working properly, so there was a delay starting. Then she went to a doctor who is a board-certified pulmonologist, although my issues are fibromyalgia and extreme arthritis. Most of the hearing was given over to that quack, who made the most ludicrous comments I have ever heard from a so-called doctor. Then she went to the vocational expert who said his piece. Then there was a fire scare and everybody had to abandon the building. I was unable to ask any questions or argue any point. She asked me two questions: 1) what makes you think YOU are disabled, and 2) are you seeing a psychiatrist. I tried to explain that I was between psychs, as I get my care through the VA and the psych I have been seeing had left and no replacement had yet been hired. When I tried to explain that, she immediately cut me off saying, YES OR NO???? She did ultimately grant a PARTIAL approval, which gave me zero back pay and zero for the lawyers fee. But I had to take it because otherwise, I could have ended up with nothing. I have now been off work for 3.5 years, from a job, which, by the way, I LOVED and hated to retire from. My HR manager asked me to stay, and when I explained to him which I was going through, he TOLD me to leave and file for SSDI. To make it even worse, my last employer was the Department of Defense, another federal agency! I left in Dec of 2013 and have yet to receive a penny of SSDI, because, of course, the three years before my hearing date didn't count, so now I am waiting out my five month waiting period. This whole process was a cruel joke. So glad I worked for 45 years, frequently two jobs at time, paying all of my taxes to be treated like criminal by the likes of Barbeito.

Judge: Lawrence D Wheeler
6/5/2017 10:46:25 AM

Wisconsin judges were not fired so I have zero idea what your attorney is talking about. There is an office in Illinois that has taken some overflow and aged cases but that has n nothing to do with turnover.

Judge: Lawrence D Wheeler
12/20/2016 7:10:57 PM

This is what a SSI attorney told me, that Wisconsin fired there SS judges because they were not looking at all the medical evidence per case and denying a lot of them just to save the state of Wisconsin money and so the state would get good ratings. So now there is a average of 18 month waits to get a hearing because of the state judges available and are now using Illinois judges on the closed circuit TV.

Judge: John P Giannikas
12/7/2016 10:57:52 AM

I attended a hearing at the ODAR with my daughter, who has PTSD and specific phobias. My daughter was assaulted at school and we were treated very abusively by our local school district. They were relentless in engaging in an attack on my daughters and myself, because they lost the litigation that they filed against my family. Yes, school districts litigate against families. This judge does not know that. He knows nothing about the Office of Administrative Hearings Special Education division, due process, or educational assessments. He told me that schools don't sue parents. I have two binders of transcripts that prove otherwise. He also was belligérant to me and my daughter. She had an anxiety attack at the hearing and he told her to stop crying. Thanks to him, she is re-traumatized. The judge also has no understanding that some disabities has a genetic connection, so it is entirely possible that three people in the same family can have related disabilities at the same judge. The inmput of the Vocational Rehab Specialist was also completely ignored. I guess this judge had to seem tough so he took it out on the minority family, because you know that we are all schemers according to the make America great again folks. Lose the quotas and make real decisions. This judge was rude, abrasive, overtalked me, my daughter, and her attorney. He had a made up mind before he heard one word of testimony. Judges should be knowledgeable regarding all aspects of disability rights, including the IDEA. This judge is not.

Judge: Peter J Baum
10/24/2016 7:46:29 AM

I went before judge Baum back in 2011 and he granted me 100 percent disability with bk pay and than I was denied because my roommate started getting his Soc.security someone filled us a married couple so I was cut off and had to reapply again fo disability and was supposed to get bk 4years of bk pay when I was approved again and judge C.Davis only granted me 1 1/2 years bk pay when I was determined 100 0/0 bk in 2012 by judge Baum now I feel discriminated by judge Davis so I plan to appeal his dicission to get all my bk pay I deserve from 2012 to the present time no better judge than Peter Baum god bless him

Deborah Frisch
Judge: Elizabeth Watson
10/22/2016 1:45:29 AM

This judge brags on facebook that she majored in beer drinking at the UO. she has trampy pictures with visible nipples. She should be in prison for fraud and other crimes. What a stupid drunk tramp.

Judge: Evelyn M Gunn
9/25/2016 7:38:42 AM

If you have a case, you will win. If not, prepare better.

Judge: John W Wojciechowski
8/22/2016 10:12:48 AM

I felt that he was very fair. When I walked out I felt like he wasn't looking for a reason to deny my claim but more so a reason to approve it. He was a bit standoffish but all in all I felt that he gave my case a fair look. The VE was another story. She was clueless rude and lacking in every area. But the Judge Wojciechowski was a respectable fair man, at least in my hearing.

Donald Hunt
Judge: Betty Roberts Barbeito
8/9/2016 8:19:29 AM

Judge Barbeito my name is Donald Hunt you presided over my case in Fresno as we were leaving you asked for some medical records pertaining to an incident where the Dr gave me Demerol and told my mother he was worried about me because my Cd4 counts were very low and my viral load extremely high and with my kidneys failing and I just got over a bad case of cellulitis which nearly turned into sepsis it's pertinent I get these records to you in a timely fashion but I have no car no way to pay for faxes since they are long distance and 1.59$ per page I need he

Judge: John P Giannikas
6/23/2016 1:21:23 AM

After waiting over 2 1/2 years from my initial SSDI case being filed and the wait for the ALJ hearing, I just received my Notice of Decision - Unfavorable from this "Judge" regarding my PTSD, fragments of shrapnel from a gun shot wound that I nearly died from, and IBS during my active duty time in the service. I'm currently receiving 100% Service Connected from VA Compensation & Pension disability benefit from these disabilities mentioned, but this "Judge" stated that "After careful consideration of all the evidence, the undersigned (Judge) concludes the claimant (Me) was not under a disability" according to their SSA definition. Give me a break "Judge," even a blind person can recognize when someone is disabled based on the overwhelming evidence that I've submitted. This "Judge" seems to made a decision on my case before it even started. His own Vocational Rehabilitation counselor told him at the hearing (which was recorded) that there was no substantial gain of employment for panic attacks from my anxiety disorder/PTSD. I believe the true reason why my case was denied was because this "Judge" didn't want to award me the $48,000 retro pay for making me wait 33 months, along with the additional $1,500 per month for SSDI. I'm a bit disappointed, but not mad at all because I'm still getting VA benefits and will reapply for SSDI very soon because I know I have a very strong case and just need the right person to get me that favorable approval. It just does not make any sense to me on why I was not approved, but another fellow veteran with the same exact disability is getting SSA and 100% SC C&P. Please get a very good Lawyer for ALJ hearings, especially when dealing with this "Judge."

Judge: Sally C Reason
5/23/2016 3:53:30 PM

unbelievably unfair, unprofessional, heartless person. People you are so correct that she should absolutely not given a power to decide peoples cases as seems like she has no clue what she is doing. i really do not want to use big words all i do is i pray to God for justice.

Randy Weaver
Judge: Dale A Garwal
4/21/2016 1:44:01 PM

Dear Mr. Garwell, I remain in constant pain, almost blind. I see no reason you totally ignored the letter my doctor wrote on September 22, 2014. My case is in need of attention. Please reconsider my case. I have done nothing wrong, just trying to survive. I have a doctor appointment for tomorrow @ 11 a.m. Sincerely, Randy Scott Weaver

randy Weaver
Judge: Dale A Garwal
4/8/2016 3:28:03 PM

Dear Dale A. Garwell, For years you have been denying my request, after getting numerous doctors responses stating that I was not at fault and I continue to remain in severe pain; you continue to ignore it. You have no idea how much pain you have put me through! What I want to know is WHY? I don't even know you, have visited the Ventura office and keep getting the cold shoulder. What makes you so cold & bitter? All I'm trying to do is relieve the extreme pain I have received from numerous accidents. The only thing I can come up with is you are an evil person and have no buisness working for social security. I live with pain. Just want to get relief. Sincerely, Randy Scott Weaver

Wife of disabled
Judge: Dale A Garwal
12/21/2015 1:43:14 PM

Couldn't select the actual judge that heard my husband's case in SB because he must either be new to the Santa Barbara office, or he just came in to help clear some cases out of the queue. I will post our experience on his page in Iowa, and on this SB page. I am writing the information that we were seeking when trying to get an understanding of what to expect. Disability: Heart infraction number of 20, pacemaker and defibrillator Final Decision in this case was: Fully Approved Overall timeline from initial filing to payment receipt: ~3.5 years For those that want to know what to expect from a timeline perspective in this office, here is how it worked for us. Judge Henry Koltys heard my husband's case. He had a poker face the whole time, seemed like he was going to be fair in his ruling. He wasn't warm and fuzzy, but straight to the point & thorough, which is what I would want from someone making decisions about tax payer dollars. He questioned my husband first, for 30-40 minutes, then he sent my husband out, and called me in and asked me some questions about our daily life and accommodations that are made for my husband's heart condition. - Filed for disability in mid to late 2012 with a disability effective date of January of 2012. - Appealed denials twice. - After final appeal was sent, and a request for a hearing was made, it took 12 months to get a court date - received hearing date approximately 6 weeks before the hearing - October 14, 2015: Hearing (approximately 1 hour total) - November 21, 2015: received the "fully approved" decision - December 19, 2015: Partial back-pay payment received Still waiting on the following: - Award Letter outlining benefits - remaining back-payment - back-payment for dependents of the disabled Please note: this rating is for Judge Henry Koltys and not for Judge Dale Garwal

Judge: Richard Breen
11/7/2015 5:50:23 AM

I have nerv root compression on mri an x ray doctor said...speclist say L4L5 need operating on but this judge called it stiffness only so we dont go by pain and nerv damage we going of a judge that thinks injured people on paper work is a joke....judge for your color and looks not docters words on paper,liers that take and outh,said on paper i denied theropy when on paper work i have been to physical theropy age shouldent matter when u injured but ,but,but...go by docters words not judge paper work. Time will tell on you judge...

Judge: Elizabeth Watson
9/26/2015 1:59:15 AM

Judge Watson is a good judge.

Mike Perez
Judge: Elizabeth R Lishner
3/28/2015 9:09:23 PM

Judge Lishner made my case a very pleasant experience. I was very worried and nervous as I felt my life was on the line, I had no way to earn money to survive. I was born with a rare disease known as leg perthes. After a hip replacement in 2010 I tried my best to continue working for 2 years but had to file for Disability in 2013. My first claim was denied by people that really didn't take the time to examine what was wrong with me. When I received my decision letter after the trial, it brought tears to my eyes. She really took the time to examine my situation. On 3/24/2015 I had my second hip replacement surgery and I'm on the very long path of recovery. More surgery is necessary in the future. My mind is at ease because financial help is on the way. God bless you Honorable Elizabeth Lishner.

Judge: Lawrence D Wheeler
2/10/2015 11:51:17 AM

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here. This individual is one of the most insulting, rude, and unreasonable people I have had the misery of meeting. If you are unfortunate enough to appear before this "hanging" judge, consider your case to be lost. You could be missing all of your limbs and he would suggest that you could serve as second base for a baseball league somewhere in the country. You may have to move to the other side of the country (since people applying for SSDI are known to be flush with money), but if there is a stamp somewhere in the country that needs licking and your tongue is capable of producing moisture-you are not disabled. Plain as day, right? There is no gray area, no extraneous circumstances or conditions with this man. If you are even remotely capable of operating a phone, you are ideally suited to be a telemarketer-and thus, clearly NOT disabled. More surgery coming up? Irrelevant. You at one time told your doctor that you were feeling even a little better, so therefore you ARE better and can find a job doing something somewhere. I would love to return to work (and have tried but was told that my restrictions could not be accommodated). So regardless of what he thinks you are qualified to do, good luck finding a company willing to take you on when you are "damaged goods". Once again, irrelevant. He is clearly trying to atone for all of the years when everyone was being approved by going in the complete opposite direction. My advice: First-do NOT get injured at work, you have no rights if that happens. Second-pray like hell that you do not end up in front of Lawrence Wheeler. Third-find a lawyer that knows what they are doing and is not simply there hoping to cash out with your case. I failed on all three counts.

Judge: Betty Roberts Barbeito
12/20/2014 1:09:14 AM

Great Judge. 100% fair in my complex case. She made it possible for me to have surgery. I was in a really bad situation. She set up a re-evaluation date and provided enough time for surgical recovery. Oh yea.. I almost forgot. I am a Workers Comp claimant. Thank you Judge Betty Roberts Barbeito. You saved me !!

Stephan Gibbs
Judge: Betty Roberts Barbeito
12/15/2014 1:34:07 PM

I had to have 3 hearings. She was very thorough but fair. It took me 4 years but I got fully favorable.

Judge: Betty Roberts Barbeito
9/29/2014 8:35:31 PM

I'm a lawyer who has attended thousands of hearings. This ALJ is the most disgusting excuse for a judge, let alone lawyer, I've ever met. I pray she will be removed from the bench.

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

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
5/1/2014 1:49:15 PM

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.

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

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
3/1/2014 11:55:25 AM

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.

David Williams
Judge: Sally C Reason
1/10/2014 12:09:20 PM

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.

diane schulz
Judge: Gail Reich
12/26/2013 4:40:40 PM

very kind

Angelia Forester
Judge: Robert Iafe
8/26/2013 3:40:14 PM

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
8/6/2013 5:01:39 AM

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: Peter J Baum
6/8/2013 7:10:04 AM


Daniel Williams
Judge: Dale A Garwal
6/6/2013 7:28:07 AM

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...

Sharon Masson
Judge: Dale A Garwal
5/8/2013 12:37:04 PM

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
5/3/2013 4:51:43 PM

She is so kind and also fair.

Judge: Betty Roberts Barbeito
5/2/2013 9:12:53 PM

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.

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

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.

Still Struggling
Judge: Sally C Reason
4/11/2013 1:31:19 PM

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
4/7/2013 8:09:51 AM

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

Judge: Betty Roberts Barbeito
4/1/2013 10:29:23 AM

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
2/5/2013 5:25:44 PM

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
1/12/2013 11:49:30 AM

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: Peter J Baum
12/20/2012 11:52:16 AM

Fair, happy with case

Judge: Evelyn M Gunn
12/9/2012 8:39:43 AM

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
12/6/2012 4:22:41 PM

Very thorough but fair

Judge: Zane A Lang
12/4/2012 9:54:44 PM

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
12/4/2012 8:43:10 PM

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
12/4/2012 5:46:56 PM

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 P Giannikas
11/26/2012 3:51:08 PM

Judge Giannikas spent a lot of time listening. I had to return after the first hearing for a supplemental hearing. He changed my onset date twice but ruled in my favor. After reading the negative comments about several of the judges in Valparaiso, I think I was fortunate to have my case reviewed by someone who was paying attention.

Judge: John W Wojciechowski
11/14/2012 12:54:09 PM

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

Raffi Shahinian
Judge: Sherwin F Biesman
9/25/2012 12:56:28 PM

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.

Raffi Shahinian
Judge: Lawrence D Wheeler
9/25/2012 12:55:17 PM

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
9/7/2012 3:38:12 PM

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
8/29/2012 4:46:16 PM

She is fair

Judge: Sally C Reason
8/16/2012 1:09:49 PM

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
8/2/2012 2:22:32 PM

A very evil person.

Judge: Lawrence D Wheeler
8/2/2012 2:21:51 PM

A handsome Devil.

Judge: Gail Reich
8/2/2012 2:20:05 PM

Very fair.

Judge: Moises Penalver
7/12/2012 1:08:04 PM

Very kind, very nice

Judge: Sherwin F Biesman
7/12/2012 10:35:07 AM

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

Judge: Lawrence D Wheeler
5/11/2012 9:13:58 AM

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
5/3/2012 6:47:26 PM

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.

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

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
4/2/2012 8:10:21 PM

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
3/20/2012 8:45:05 AM

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.

Sally Jones
Judge: Sally C Reason
3/19/2012 4:00:19 AM

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
3/11/2012 4:23:09 PM

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?