Dover, Delaware ODAR Office

At the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) in Dover, Delaware, 4 different administrative law judges (ALJ) conduct Social Security Disability (SSD) hearings and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) hearings. Currently, in Dover, the average wait time for a SSI or SSD hearing is 17.5 months. The average case processing time in Dover is 579 days.The Dover average for winning a SSI or SSD disibility hearing is 44%. Click on the name of one of the ALJs below to see detailed information about their hearing results. This information for the Dover ODAR office was last updated on 6/11/2019.

Average statistics
OfficeJudgesAvg. Hearing
Wait Time
Processing Time
Per Day Per ALJ
Dover 4 17.5 months 579 days 2.3 20% 44% 35%
Delaware17.5 months579 days2.320%44%35%
National Average:14.9 months500 days2.120%42%38%
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: Steven L. Butler
3/6/2020 6:45:38 AM

This judge is a complete jerk. I have gastroperises and am in and out of the hospital annually as well as degenerative disc disease with herniated disc at L5-S1 and nerve impingements yet this guy feels that I can function at a basic job like a document preparer. The vocational expert even testified that if I were to miss a day or two due to my stomach issues that would significantly affect negatively any job yet this idiot thinks I can work. I worked full time at the same job for over 16 years before becoming ill but a lot of good that does when you have jerks like this who can completely control and ruin your life.

R. Dillon
Judge: Anthony Reeves
2/4/2020 11:22:40 AM

Judge Reeves is so patient...He really listens and truly cares for others. I can't thank him enough for his kindness. He's an amazing Judge!

robert kinslow
Judge: NaKeisha Blount
11/26/2019 12:05:49 AM

Judge Blount thank you many Blessings.

Judge: Barbara J Zanotti
5/28/2019 2:06:15 PM

I Found her to be very fair and warm hearted, Though A Judge, She's Non judgemental..She listens...The World Needs More Judges like her..

Melissa Carbajal
Judge: Barbara Powell
4/19/2019 11:36:52 AM

After reading the many negative reviews on B. Powell, i went to my hearing scared.. The out come of my hearing was still up in the air.. however i found that Mrs. Powell was extreamly respectful, and understanding.. she let me talk and i represented myself. Now is just the wait. Thank you Mrs. Powell for seeing me.. Take care, God bless.

Judge: Steven L. Butler
3/7/2019 12:27:13 PM

After a 3 year battle, I was not sure what to expect in the judicial hearing. This judge was professional and compassionate, concerned about my comfort. Afterwards my attorney told me she thought it went well. His decision came within 2 weeks, and obvious from my rating, he approved my case. Prior to being a judge, he was a disability lawyer, so he has seen both sides, and I think that makes him more empathetic to applicants. I am grateful that my case was adjudicated by judge Butler.

David keichline
Judge: Steven L. Butler
8/3/2018 3:13:04 PM

After being left hanging by my attorney I found judge Butler to be very professional an informative and understanding. Explaining my position and what I need too do in layman's term and what I need it to do to proceed forward. He scheduled a new hearing within 90 days to give me adequate time to prepare. I left with the first understanding I had since I began the process thank you

Judge: NaKeisha Blount
5/29/2018 5:44:42 AM

Judge Blount is very patience, she is a good listener. She is fair in making a decision. God bless Judge Blount.

Judge: Barbara Powell
4/22/2018 5:21:32 PM

Barbara Powell! Was very respectful to me and son !! She Showed no sign of disrespect. She listen to me and my attorney fairly!!! I can look in her face she was truly tryna get to the bottom of my son case. Now jus patiently waiting on a decision. Oct 2017

Judge: Steven L. Butler
8/4/2017 3:21:40 PM

The worst judge ever.denied me . I'm on several different meds which causes drowsiness but he didnt care.I wonder if he was in my shoes how would he feel

Judge: Jennifer M Lash
7/7/2017 5:28:46 AM

Definitely the worst judge ever and has no understanding of mental health issues or fibromyalgia

Judge: Edward L Brady
5/31/2017 9:49:48 PM

Very nice judge made me feel comfortable at the hearing

Judge: Barbara Powell
5/23/2017 8:35:38 AM

If I could rate her lower, I would. Judge Barbara Powell is a nightmare. She is polite to everybody working in the office, but a disabled person? She is rude, condescending and tends to nitpick through cases without citing the actual medical evidence. People stated that she is racist, but I disagree...she's just cold and evil. She talks over disabled people, bullies them and does not give them the opportunity to actually speak. Her approval/disapproval ratings compared to most other ALJ is completely opposite. She does not belong in any form of office, approving or denying disability benefits. I had a panic attack during my hearing because she wouldn't let my wife in with me. She basically told me that I needed to be quiet or that she wouldn't be able to continue. I was quiet, but gasping for air. I cannot believe that this woman is in charge of anybodys life. I am confident that the appeals council will overturn her decisions, because I actually cited medical evidence, instead of using her opinions. She claimed things such as "presentation" when discrediting medical profesionals and to make matters worse, she agrees with the medical opinion of an ER doctor who ran no tests, over MRI and testimony from actual treating physicians. How she sleeps at night is beyond me!

Judge: Edward L Brady
4/26/2017 3:50:43 AM

very respectful. listens to every thing. Even though i have been waiting 4 months and no decision yet on my case. I can say he is a great Judge. Thank you for being there for all of us that need your help.

Vote Powell Out
Judge: Barbara Powell
1/12/2017 4:36:27 PM

I didn't see a negative five (-5) stars option so I will just leave a comment. If agree with "Spouse", this judge is incredibly unjust and unfair. Powell is the worst human being I've ever encountered. My mother struggles daily just to do everyday simple tasks we take for granted, and yet this judge says she's (my mother) exaggerating her illness and don't get me started on her hearings. You are not allowed to explain, but simply answer yes and no to her questions. She intentionally words her questions to make you seem like a liar or wanting pity. She's a judge in a city that has a population mostly Hispanic and her race preference is evident. Powell, I wish you just a quarter of the pain my mother goes through, and I hope your judge denies your disability as well.

Seeker of Justice
Judge: Jack Penca
1/5/2017 12:52:20 AM

If I could award negative points I would. This man is a horrible example of what our justice system represents and is meant to achieve. Judge Peneca clearly failed at his job. He neglected to even address 4 of my major diseases and illnesses and, neglecting his oath to uphold the law and do everything to seek the truth. I had nearly 5,000 pages of records entered into evidence dated early 14' to 10/16', My hearing was early November and the judge ONLY talked about records from 2014 not even mentioning a test I had had 10 days prior to my hearing confirming the severity is my illness. This man clearly does not care about people and their quality of life and, it is clear that he has no problems perpetrating miscarriages of Justice. I now have to wait another 1 to 2 years in dire poverty hoping for another appeal and possibly have to see this man again. I will be doing everything in my power to see this through to the end and make sure that this man is held accountable and has to do his job.

Judge: Barbara Powell
12/22/2016 4:16:06 PM

These people state this Judge is good are *****. She might pretend like she cares and to be polite during the hearing. The person that stated that she denies the people who are a burden to taxpayers, let me ask; did you review all the cases she has denied or dismissed, just look at her stats she is evil. Im thinking you must work for her or be related. This judge lies and is an arrogant selfish human being. She is the burden to my tax money that pays her salary. She seems to look for .0001 % of of all the evidence presented so she can deny a case. She is not smart or fair. She was hired to deny cases, look at her stats. A fair judge would take the totality of the medical proof and not go off the notes of one bias doctors input. She picks and chooses what to use to deny a case, so unprofessional. This Judge sends claimants to see a doctor of her choice and then she discredits those doctors as well. What a waste of taxpayers money. Why send them to independent doctor and not go off their medical evidence. This shows she thinks she is all knowing, and it also shows that she is ignorant. She accepts the word of these independent doctors when it is convenient to her. Why even spend taxpayers money on these doctors if her Law Degree is all knowing and mighty that it trumps one of a Medical Doctor. Sickness and disease does not discriminate at any age and I see my spouse suffer. We provided plenty of medical evidence to show that my spouse is ill, my spouse pretty much died but was revived. My spouse has spents numerous weeks hospitalised and this ignorant judge says my spouse exagerates fully documnted medical condition. Well how the hell does she know, she wasnt there. I have been there and so have our children. My spouse is a great human being that has provided for the family in the past, working 16 hour shifts before this horrible disease. My spouse is always sick and doesnt lie. I see my pouse in pain everyday, nauseous, vomiting etc. THIS dishonorable judge states my spouse exaggerates, but Powell is the one lying. May God forgive this judge for she is the Devils advocate. I served my country so that this Judge could freely and grossly categorize my spouse as a liar. Well ill tell you Powell, you are the liar. My spouse is young and you are old. You are fortunate to be healthy, but a burden and a whip to the disabled. I wish you a long life, so that you can remember all those people you did such harm to. I hope you too get a disease as terrible as my spouse. You should be taken off your high horse. They should do an independent study of your case review. Your words and prejudices are not law. You are not a honorable judge, you are a disgrace to the seat you swore to be fair and unprejudiced. Your perceptions are criminal in nature. So for those that says she is nice, so too are the Devils advocates.

Judge: Stanley Petraschuk
12/4/2016 7:22:06 PM

The best judge ever thank you I can finally help my household

Judge: Howard Wishnoff
8/3/2016 12:12:28 PM

A wonderful and kind judge. Conducts excellent hearings. Knows the file and asks relevant questions and lets the claimant answer. Patient and concise.

Judge: Barbara J Zanotti
7/26/2016 10:02:12 AM

I believe she is a fair and intelligent judge. She listened to my entire case and paid attention when my attorney or I spoke. I believe she had no preconceived notions about my case either. I had gone before Ouellette before and the experience was night and day. The occupational expert was also very knowledgeable whereas Ouellette's expert didn't listen to a word, and acted as though he could have singlehandedly solved Florida's unemployment problem.

Ricky A Finney
Judge: Judith A Showalter
6/15/2016 12:16:09 PM

I had her and she was not like that maybe I caught her on a good day...I feel so bad for everyone and hope you all find peace

Judge: Barbara J Zanotti
6/3/2016 6:54:49 AM

She is clueless and takes forever in her hearings.

Janet Hildebrand
Judge: Jack Penca
2/11/2016 8:55:52 PM

Judge Penca was very attentive during my disability hearing, asking questions to better understand my case. His decision was very quick and fully favorable for my case. Glad that he was my judge.

Michael Whealen
Judge: Judith A Showalter
12/8/2015 10:46:38 AM

karla beyer
Judge: Barbara Powell
8/13/2015 1:23:59 PM

I had a hearing with judge Powell on August 12th, I found her to be very polite,respectful, and understanding of my situation, I had no issues with her. She was great. Not scary at all.

disappointed disabled American
Judge: Stanley Petraschuk
3/3/2015 6:32:23 AM

Despite the vocational expert stating there is no work that I can do as a result of my psychiatric issues, I was denied anyway. I am wondering what am I going to do now. My government has failed me as a US citizen

Douglas Eskridge
Judge: William A Kurlander
10/20/2014 8:31:48 AM

On 9/11/2014 I was awarded disability after 2 years and three months I felt the Judge was very understanding in regard to my case he said he would send out a letter in four (4) weeks and asked something to the effect if this would be a burden I explained my out of pocket expenses for meds were over 1000.00 dollars per month so he said I would receive it in 2 weeks! It is now October 20, 2014 and still have not received anything I have called the hearing office to try and to get help with everyone telling me it could be three months what is wrong with the system when a Judges word is ignored? This is very painful!

Judge: Barbara Powell
8/11/2014 7:41:47 AM

Judge Powell is an intelligent hardworking professional who believes that people who deserve help should get it and that those who seek that to which they are not entitled should not serve as a burden to the taxpayer. We need more judges like her.

K. Barron
Judge: Jennifer M Lash
3/24/2014 1:50:09 PM

I didn't experience that, nor did see that in her. My experience was/is a compassionate ALJ who asked pertinent questions and took the time to listen. I sensed she was no nonsense, yet fair. She weighed my case on the evidence before her. My suggestion is, have yout matters in check meaning all I's dotted, all T's crossed before you go before her or any judge assuming you will win with limited information. I had an attorney with me which helped, I believe. I felt at ease with her and the fact that she was there to do her job, nothing more.

Judge: Stanley Petraschuk
10/7/2013 11:20:17 PM

A FAIR JUDGE AND SEEMS TO CARE seen in late Sept. and received decision in end of Aug.

Judge: Judith A Showalter
9/16/2013 6:24:21 PM

All I can say is that she must be a lonely bitter old woman. My son has been fighting for disability for 4 yrs. We have a lawyer.Showalters denied him and we appealed and they found she didnt do what she was suppose so we got another day in court. She was already mad cause she was made to do it again. Denied again. She sits there with money rolling in while she doesnt care about anybody else.The ones she past must have been on thier death bed and wasnt going to collect long.Hope sometime she needs something and no ones there for her.

Judge: Edward J Banas
6/29/2013 1:55:16 PM

Judge Banas has ruined me. In refusing my claim he has condemned me to a life of poverty. I will more than likely be on the street within months thanks to his complete inability to understand that I will never be able to hold a job with my disabilities. What am I supposed to do now? Beg in the streets? Depend on family to support me for the rest of my life? If this man could live one day in my shoes I am positive he would be begging for mercy. I doubt that Judge Banas even took any of my testimony about my disabilities into account. A complete disappointment.

pissedoff guy
Judge: Melvin D Benitz
5/11/2013 8:29:38 PM

This judge does not listen to the people in the room.... he seemed nice but he is a real jack *** and should not be on the bench.

Judge: Edward L Brady
4/23/2013 10:52:12 AM

agree with all the comments here. Is civil, patient, respectful, and fair. Is non-adversarial which is the way the hearing is supposed to be.

Judge: Judith A Showalter
4/16/2013 7:40:49 AM

for the last comment, the appeals board is just as bad. They also won't give you the time of day, I just found that out. Here's the kicker, if you go to a civil action, your case goes right back to the very judge who turn it down in the first place. No do you really think that Showalter is going to admit that she was wrong in the first place?? Is this a joke or what? How fair is that?? Now i'll be put back into the same system that I was in before and have to wait out another 15 months. I pray that God will take me in the meantime. Good luck to you all!

Judge: Judith A Showalter
4/12/2013 11:03:14 AM

I am another victim of Judge??? Showalter. I agree, she had her mind made up to deny my claim even before she saw me. She acts bored and impatient and just wants you gone from her presence. I had a lawyer and that did not even help. She chose to take the opinion of a social security paid doctor that never even met me,instead of my specialist doctors. All I can say is what goes around comes around. You sow what you reap. Her own judgement will come and may it be more fair than that of all the deserving people she denied.

Judge: Judith A Showalter
3/28/2013 3:18:22 PM

Agree with every previous comment in reference to this horrific judge. I would strongly consider moving if I was a Claimant near the Dover Delaware area.

Judge: Judith A Showalter
3/28/2013 2:51:28 PM

This is what happens when someone is appointed to this job who does not believe in SSA disability, and would like to see it abolished. She probably is the worst judge in the country, and is a disgrace to SSA, and is rubbing their nose in it!

Judge: Edward L Brady
12/7/2012 9:32:24 AM

very nice and reasonable judge, made me feel comfortable and listened to, very considerate and he actually listened to what i had to say & gave me a Fully Favorable Decision, i couldn't be more pleased with how he handled the court room and how he read and understood my records. I was pleasantly surprised at how nice he was. Thank You Judge Brady

Judge: Edward L Brady
12/7/2012 9:32:05 AM

very nice and reasonable judge, made me feel comfortable and listened to, very considerate and he actually listened to what i had to say & gave me a Fully Favorable Decision, i couldn't be more pleased with how he handled the court room and how he read and understood my records. I was pleasantly surprised at how nice he was. Thank You Judge Brady!

Judge: Edward L Brady
11/29/2012 9:07:41 AM

Really on the ball, well prepared, puts claimants at ease.

Judge: Joseph F Leary
11/27/2012 1:15:20 PM

This judge is a breath of fresh air.

Judge: Jack Penca
9/25/2012 9:08:46 PM

This judge needs more training in social security cases, one week is not long enough

Judge: Jack Penca
9/25/2012 12:36:49 PM

my bad

Judge: Judith A Showalter
9/22/2012 10:30:49 PM

when you think this judge can't get any worse, she does. I feel the sorriest for those in dire need of benefits to survive. It seems to me that this woman is burned out and would be better off for the disabled to do everyone a service and retire. Her denials and dismissals are a disgrace. I know that people do abuse the system, but it people got this far, isn't it obvious that they are sick. Those who are not really sick would not have hung in this long. Most I would think would have given up by now. This is a miscarriage of justice. These Alj's have quota's to meet every month. How much of a kickback are they getting????

Judge: Jack Penca
9/20/2012 11:59:29 AM

how the **** can this judge get my case and make a decission when i had another judge that left. its bull

Judge: Jennifer M Lash
9/7/2012 12:47:10 PM


Judge: Judith A Showalter
6/29/2012 8:13:13 PM

Showalter thinks she is saving money by denying claims. What about all the appeals filed for her decisions? What about the cost of processing those? What about the cost of all the new hearings for the claims sent back to Dover? What about the backlog at the Appeals Council related to claims with her name on them? What about all the claims she denied which are at the Federal Court? Does she enjoy having her work reviewed and many 100's of her decisions overturned? Do her right wing supporters on the Eastern Shore factor in the expense incurred when she is appealed and/or overturned? Can any self respecting official with responsibility for hiring judges for the SSA explain what happened in Dover?

78% of the claims you decided
Judge: Melvin D Benitz
6/29/2012 7:32:10 PM

Whomever made the post 6/4/12 works for the SSA, is a friend of the "Campaign for Repugnance" headquartered at ODAR Dover and co-chaired by Judges Showalter and Benitz, and/or deserving of disability due to her severe hallucinations. Assume your claim will be denied if it is heard by Judge Benitz. You will need an attorney, and your attorney should start writing the appeal BEFORE you go to hearing. Judge Benitz will disregard all supportive evidence in your file. He will give no credibility to anything your doctor says which helps your claim. He will also ignore supportive statements about your claim made by the doctor paid by the Disability Determination Service to review your file. Judge Benitz will appear bored, disinterested, asleep and/or hard of hearing. He should have retired before he made a mockery of his position and his employer.

Judge: Edward J Banas
6/29/2012 7:09:29 PM

Respectful to claimants and counsel. There should ne more like him at ODAR Dover.

Judge: Melvin D Benitz
6/10/2012 6:14:24 PM

Yes thank God ALJ Benitz only pays 20 percent of his cases and that likely people have been wrongly denied access to better care and treatment because of his biased point of view toward those that apply. You must work realy closely or be a friend to ALJ Showalter and Bentiz who are an embarrassment. You don't hav ea clue.

Judge: Edward J Banas
6/7/2012 3:40:13 PM

A pleasure to work with. Patient and respectful. He allows an opening and requests that the rep do most of the questioning beyond work history.

Judge: Melvin D Benitz
6/4/2012 1:36:28 PM

Judge Benitz is one of the nicest most wonderful alj's that there are!! Many alj's pay claimants just for the "number" - as they have a quota to make every month but judge Benitz says it like it is!!! Thank God!! Social Security is not going broke because of him!

Judge: Judith A Showalter
5/17/2012 9:28:09 AM

An embarrasment to the bench and bar . She takes pleasure in denying 80% of the cases she hears

Judge: Jennifer M Lash
5/8/2012 10:33:16 AM

I disagree with the last comment. I am in front of her quite regularly and think she is quick, to the point, and fair. Not an easy judge but definitely not unreasonable.

Judge: Judith A Showalter
4/26/2012 6:46:08 AM

I agree. This woman is rude, unprofessional, and quite mean. She demonstred utter disdain for me. She ultimately "denied" me after serverl doctors...and the vochational therapist recommended that I could not work. She favored the doctor who "reviewed" my records. She has no compassion, self control or right to sit in that chair. I don't know how she can sleep after the way she treats others! I made a formal complaint against her. I hope she gets fired!!!!!!!!

Judge: Judith A Showalter
4/24/2012 5:06:51 PM

Despite the fact this ALJ clearly abuses her power and the negative press she presents nothing will change. The ALJ's union is to strong. I would suggest if you are a Claimant move out of the Delaware area. Your case may still be denied but at least you may have a fair shake.

Judge: Jennifer M Lash
4/15/2012 6:53:29 PM


Judge: Judith A Showalter
4/3/2012 8:21:26 PM

I was present for my hearing, but it was too late in the day for this Judge to hear my case. I was sitting outside the courtroom and I could hear the entire hearing. I could hear everything about the claimant and her family, previous employment history and medical history. There was not privacy whatsoever. I was stunned when I heard how this Judge sounded like she was interrogating the claimant. The judge spoke for most of that claimant's hearing and her tone was quite indignant. When it was the attorney's time to speak, she told the attorney that he was taking too long. The entire time I was sitting outside, that attorney only spoke briefly. I can't believe that a judge would speak to anyone, especially those that are sick and disabled in that manner. I think that God was looking down when she decided not to hear my case. I pray to God that I don't get her. From what I witnessed (heard) while there, she is a disgrace to the bench and probably burned out. She needs to retire.

Judge: Judith A Showalter
3/26/2012 6:26:33 PM

Nasty and unprofessional. An embarrassment to the administration. If the SSA abided by any standards for professionalism for ALJs, she would be dismissed from the bench.

Judge: Judith A Showalter
3/20/2012 8:41:01 AM

This maybe the worst ALJ in the country. She is rude to the Claimant's and does not take the time to listen to testimony since she already has her decision likely prepared prior to hearing. She has no intention of paying claims that would be paid in front of most average judges and there has been several articles written about her in regard to her alleged bias.