Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania ODAR Office

At the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 12 different administrative law judges (ALJ) conduct Social Security Disability (SSD) hearings and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) hearings. Currently, in Pittsburgh, the average wait time for a SSI or SSD hearing is 21.0 months. The average case processing time in Pittsburgh is 696 days.The Pittsburgh average for winning a SSI or SSD disibility hearing is 36%. Click on the name of one of the ALJs below to see detailed information about their hearing results. This information for the Pittsburgh ODAR office was last updated on 3/9/2018.

Average statistics
OfficeJudgesAvg. Hearing
Wait Time
Average
Processing Time
Dispositions
Per Day Per ALJ
Cases
Dismissed
Cases
Approved
Cases
Denied
Pittsburgh 12 21.0 months 696 days 1.7 30% 36% 34%
Pennsylvania20.7 months673 days1.827%40%34%
National Average:17.3 months577 days1.921%43%36%
AVERAGE TIME
Hearing Wait Time: 21.00 months
Dispositions Per Day Per ALJ 1.74
Average Processing Time 696 days
Cases Pending 7418
Dispositions 1461
New Cases 724
Hearings In Person 100%
Video Hearings 0%

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

Judge: Helen Valkavich
7/16/2018 2:50:14 PM



I just had my hearing last week. Judge Valkavich was very thorough and respectful during the heating. She really seemed to care to hear about my side. Win or lose she is a very professional judge.

Christina
Judge: Christian Bareford
6/17/2018 11:23:24 PM



Easy going personality Asked alot of questions Very nice over all Listened to what i had to say Still do not know my decision!!! Just had court last week

stephanie Coda
Judge: Sarah Ehasz
5/10/2018 3:47:51 PM



I've never been so insulted and have myself and my adult disabled son so ignored. She lied about where and how my son was supposed to be evaluated for his ongoing mental illness since birth and she used a report from some psychologist from 5 yrs ago and the man met with my son for 15 minutes asked him to spell his name then talked about a TV show then he determined my son showed no ongoing mental health issues. 2days before he was banging his head on Mercy Behavioral Healths windows because he felt lied to. She promised a thorough evaluation by another place because all my sons doctors say he's unemployable and severely bi-polar. I never got a hearing date let alone a court date even though I called and called to get an address for this different evaluation. she didn't take any reports from Mercy Behavioral Health doctors and said that he could be a successful "laundry worker" if need be. She wouldn't let me talk because we went through two lawyers who won't help him. She failed my son. I've been supporting him on my disability check ,since I'm Bi-polar too, and could care less that his life and mine have been torturous because it's not her problem.

Sheryl L Longendyke
Judge: Timothy Gates
5/8/2018 12:39:04 PM



Very pleasant judge. Did not talk down to me and listened like he actually cared. Went to court in January 2018 it's may and still waiting on decion letter


Judge: Joanna Papazekos
2/4/2018 9:45:02 PM



I am an Iraq combat veteran with a purple heart and a 100% disability rating from the VA for severe PTSD. I had several hearings before joanna papazekos and from the very first one, it was clear that she neither understood PTSD nor apparently believes it is a disability. When I returned from Iraq in 2006, I was diagnosed with severe PTSD by a private practice Psychiatrist in Pittsburgh and then began long-term treatment with a licensed Psychologist. When I had my first meeting with judge papazekos, I had been in continuous therapy for 11 years. At the hearing I presented written summaries from my original Psychiatrist, the Psychologist I saw for 11 years and a third Psychologist who I recently started seeing. In addition, I presented the Veterans Administration decision indicating I was 100% disabled from PTSD. I also presented evidence of being unable to work due to severe mood swings and evidence where I had tried to work part-time at a local Home Depot but had to quit due to triggered reactions I had at work. I had overwhelming evidence showing the severity of my disability problems, however, joanna papazekos did not take any of that evidence seriously. She denied my application for disability status. I can only conclude that she either 1. knows nothing about PTSD and its effects; or 2. harbors a resentment and/or feeling of discrimination against Veterans.


Judge: Joanna Papazekos
1/21/2018 11:54:36 PM



This judge was rude, and even insulting. dragged me through appeals for 5 years even after her first denial of me was remanded. Her vocational expert even told myattorney after a hearing that my case was in the bag, yet she still denied me. Gave no credibility to my dr's, Psychiatrist, numerous meds i'm on, or ER visits. I had to refile because of her. If I would get her again, I don't know what i'd do. This woman should be A prison guard, not someone supposed to judge fairly on poor health.


Judge: John J Porter
10/31/2017 11:14:28 AM



This man should not have a job that judges people illness, apparently knows nothing of mental illness. Defies what Doctors say.

Kelly Torok
Judge: Leslie Perry- Dowdell
10/4/2017 5:03:35 AM



yes it's such a process...and I wish I could do it again.. I keep thinking of important things I should have said but was very anxious and felt like I shouldn't babble on and on :( and she only asked me thre questions which I found strange, talking to other people who were questioned for almost an hr...and her record on here is the lowest so I am not very hopeful with my outcome. But I do have to say She was very different than I expected after reading the posts on here. She seemed very nice.

R.K.
Judge: Leslie Perry- Dowdell
10/2/2017 8:17:27 PM



To anonymous post of 9/28/17. I went through that exact problem and thinking as you. I was in front of judge Valaskavich. I wasn't nervous but have trouble thinking when the pain is bad. Mornings are the worst. She seemed to understand that without me having to say it, and the struggle it has been waiting to hopefully get approved. Again I did not tell her of any of my struggles. Utilities threaten to be shut off every month and so much more. That makes it so hard to deal with the depression because I always worked hard to pay for everything and now even if I get turned down, still can't work any job. So prayers to you and all people who really have to get approved!


Judge: Leslie Perry- Dowdell
9/28/2017 6:26:29 AM



I posted yesterday about my hearing... after thinking about it there was so much more I wanted to say and could have said but I was nervous and my anxiety was starting to overcome me so now I fell like I did not do well because of it, I would hope the judges realize how hard it is to answer questions under nervousness anxiety and pain. :(

Ron K
Judge: Helen Valkavich
9/18/2017 2:41:51 PM



I recently had a hearing in front of this judge. I felt like she cared and listened to what I am really going through. Unfortunately I had an early morning hearing and mornings are bad and I have a hard time concentrating in the morning. I felt like she understood that and wouldn't hold it against me. Win or lose she was very respectful and did not make me feel uncomfortable being there.


Judge: Leslie Perry- Dowdell
8/7/2017 12:05:55 PM



so I have no chance at all is what I am reading :(

J. Miller
Judge: Regina Carpenter
7/19/2017 8:10:33 PM



I recently had a hearing with this judge. I was treated with such a high level of respect and compassion, it was almost scary. I was given a full favorable ruling, but that is not what inspired this comment. This judge actually cares about us as people. Just treat her with respect, and you WILL receive a fair decision based upon the merits of your medical condition.

Bernette Moore
Judge: John J Porter
5/30/2017 7:34:03 AM



HE WAS A VERY GREAT RESPECTFUL MAN HE LISTEN WELL TO EVERYTHING I TOLD HIM AND HE REQUESTED HER RECORD AT A TIMELY MANNER. .......... IF YOU ASK ME HE IS A VERY EXCELLENT JUDGE.........


Judge: Timothy Gates
4/14/2017 10:51:24 AM



Most pleasant judge that I have appeared before. He was very friendly and patient. I truly appreciate his courtesy. Made everyone feel at ease. Asked reasonable questions. Did not put anyone on the spot. Did not rush us. Thanks, Judge Gates!

L oglesbee
Judge: Timothy Gates
8/30/2016 9:05:22 AM



Judge gates was very pleasant during my hearig.. When ive been able to see a doctor they always ask if I every considered suicide. I would say no. But since receiving word today that JUDGEe gates denied my claim im at that point. My home is in jeopardy. Im sICK and need to see a doctor but donT have insurance. I had to file bankruptcy and i have very little food. Yes maybe if I end it my family can at least collect from my insurance and maybe be able to keep a roof ever their heads. I Dent T HAVE THE ANSWERS AND THIS WAS MY LAST CHANCE! I guess he had to do what he had to do.


Judge: Leslie Perry- Dowdell
2/27/2016 11:13:53 AM



This judge does not look at everything I had letters from Drs saying I could not work , she said I was getting better. Which is not true, she looked at stuff that did not Protane to my cause and used it can't understand English. I feel I was wrong color and never had a chance because I was white.


Judge: Timothy C Pace
10/26/2015 8:07:19 PM



i went in front of judge pace in 2011 and he proceeded to berate me in the hearing ... i wish i could get a copy of the audio recording from that hearing, he denied me even though i had a letter from my doctors stating i am not capable of any gainful employment. i was hit with a mack truck in 2005 and have severe spinal cord injuries and if you go to this ssa site you can see what you have that qualifies you i have several listings from the musculoskeletal system and Neurological sections including multiple herniated disks and syringomyelia.

M.LaRussa
Judge: Leslie Perry- Dowdell
9/11/2015 6:08:29 AM



SSD is not taken lightly by this Judge. She is confident and reviews her cases well. The administration could use more judges like her. Social Security awards cannot be given away, they must be given to those who truly need them. Thank you Judge for representing the taxpayers well.


Judge: John J Porter
9/2/2015 6:10:09 PM



was respectful listened to everything i had to say. Explained everything


Judge: Joanna Papazekos
4/17/2015 11:00:29 AM



This judge cherry picked my disability case and I lost due to extremely unethical and irrelevant reasons. I am not only disappointed but disgusted.


Judge: Alma S de Leon
10/30/2014 6:00:47 PM



Judge De Leon was very professional. She asked a lot of questions and was very understanding and listened attentively to all of my answers. she was extremely thorough and made sure that anything that myself or my attorney had to say was also heard. this was my first and only experience before a judge of any kind and she was everything you would want a judge to be. You can count yourself lucky if she hears your case because you will get a fair hearing.

Attorney
Judge: Leslie Perry- Dowdell
10/10/2014 10:47:58 AM



Rude to attorneys and claimants even when case is well prepared. Seems to bully people when questioning.

vet
Judge: Michelle Thompson
5/28/2014 8:27:26 PM



I would like to just say she is a fair and just judge she truly listen and provide fair decisions based on the evidence if more judges were this unbiased and did everything on a case by case basis and not under any preconceived stereotype this world would be a better place


Judge: Michelle Thompson
5/19/2014 8:08:53 PM



She took the time to listen to me and was very caring.

JSR
Judge: Timothy C Pace
1/30/2014 12:19:25 PM



Judge Timothy C. Pace: I had my hearing in November of 2013, and like so many people its a very long journey just to get to this court date. My disability and filing started in 2009 and there was some mistakes made within the SSD that put me way behind for me getting my trail date. After, a second filing in early 2012 and now with an attorney I got my date set in the middle of November. I advise anyone who is thinking about getting a attorney, Make sure they are local and NOT a national firm with lawyers scattered all over the country. I spoke to my attorney over the phone 3 times, twice within days of my hiring and never met him until I walked into the court room. My biggest mistake in my life. I did 99% percent of the talking and the lawyer made mistake right from the start, so I took control quickly and finished up the hiring. I even request that his fees be lowered if I won, right there at the time of the meeting. This action was granted by Judge Pace. Why did I gave Judge Pace a FIVE STAR review? Its simple and its based on two things and nothing more. 1) I had to deliver over 500 pages of medical records to the court before my court date because of my attorneys law firms poor handling of my case. So, I had a few calls and face to face meeting with the office staff. The staff was super helpful and truly cared about me as a person and my case. So, the staff shares in this review and the 5 stars. 2) Judge Timothy C. Pace got his five star rating for simply listening to my store. He just listened and you could tell he cared about my journey to disability status. Again, he listened and in the end that's all you can ask of any person: Judge, Doctor, Husband/Wife or partner. I walked out of the hearing knowing that I had my day and what ever happens next happens good or bad. But, I know in my heart and mind that I was heard!

DAVID STUART
Judge: Leslie Perry- Dowdell
1/22/2013 11:19:11 AM



This judge is clearly consistent. She has the lowest rate of approval of any judge in the state and within minutes of my hearing commencing I didnt need a crystal ball to tell me she was going to turn me down, her body language, attitude, questions and tone of voice made it clear to me she was going to reject my claim despite the physician I was sent to who had experience evaluating these cases telling me after my exam that he saw no reason that I did not easily qualify for disability benefits. When my attorney appealed we ended up back in front of her. Totally absurd.


Judge: John J Porter
1/7/2013 8:36:19 AM



disrespectful

J. Grimm
Judge: Regina Carpenter
12/21/2012 7:02:31 AM



By your % approved cases, and looking at the other judges largest % denials, it seems you DO actually listen to people and can understand that they feel helpless and can't provide for their families which makes low self-esteem also. People DO WANT to be proud and productive by working and feeling self-worth. Needing help financially is not easy to ask for (although we've worked for many years..which is why our bodies are broken down in the first place.) I may have a hearing coming up in this office soon...I hope I can be heard by you for it is scary to wait so long and be so clinging to the need for financial help with no chances of benefits. Can other judges even try to put themselves in our places..we have been trying for 2 years for help..why would we do this if we could go out and work for money while financial life worsens each week.

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



This judge is a breath of fresh air.

anthony
Judge: Timothy C Pace
10/24/2012 8:55:10 AM



judge Pace is a fair man and open minded.


Judge: John J Porter
9/13/2012 9:14:05 AM



I had to call and ask for the Gentlemens name , He treated me fairly even though I didn't have an attorney , he rescheduled the hearing and explained things to me , I thought he was fair and to the point , Alot of mix ups with me owning a business and income, Wow more questions concerning that than my actual health issuess So if you go alone be prepared to have tax records and earning statements.


Judge: Joanna Papazekos
9/12/2012 2:35:26 AM



Listens to evidence presented by the claimant knows not to be a judge like judge mills


Judge: Michelle Thompson
8/23/2012 5:03:21 PM



I dont think she took in to consideration what I have to go through everyday dealing with children that have ADHD and ODD have twins one approved other one keep being denied I wish she could walk in my shoes and see how it feels to get calls from school because your child cant stay in her seat or that the child is being suspended for fighting hope she one day look at the whole picture and not just her question she asked us


Judge: Michelle Thompson
8/23/2012 4:57:14 PM



I don't understand her decision I have twins one approved other denied several times never went to court one other twin but the oldest getting denied they both have the same medical history and they take med everyday which is five to be exact and hopefully when I appeal I will have some type of representation because why do one get approved and the other one keeps getting denied keep in mind they are only three mintues apart bug the oldest twin keep getting denied ever chance I apply


Judge: Leslie Perry- Dowdell
8/14/2012 4:40:39 PM



I am the wrong color :(


Judge: Leslie Perry- Dowdell
8/2/2012 9:16:12 PM



Does not seem to comprehend English

Tampan
Judge: Timothy C Pace
7/4/2012 10:04:55 PM



That really captures the spirit of it. Thanks for pnostig.


Judge: Timothy C Pace
6/13/2012 9:11:34 PM



Well deserved one star. Never met a case he could Approve without Congressional interest. . .


Judge: Michelle Thompson
6/7/2012 4:49:36 PM



Hottest looking ALJ I've seen. Very cute french sounding accent and a nice demeanor as well.