Morgantown, West Virginia ODAR Office

At the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) in Morgantown, West Virginia, 7 different administrative law judges (ALJ) conduct Social Security Disability (SSD) hearings and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) hearings. Currently, in Morgantown, the average wait time for a SSI or SSD hearing is 20.0 months. The average case processing time in Morgantown is 668 days.The Morgantown 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 Morgantown ODAR office was last updated on 3/9/2018.

Average statistics
OfficeJudgesAvg. Hearing
Wait Time
Processing Time
Per Day Per ALJ
Morgantown 7 20.0 months 668 days 1.9 20% 37% 43%
West Virginia19.8 months655 days2.218%44%38%
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: John Michaelsen
2/21/2019 9:39:59 PM

My sister is DEAD because of this Judge. She committed suicide upon receiving his decision. She did not feel that she could go on, and that there was no hope of her having a life. She could not work, they had lost their home and everything else. The next morning when her husband found her dead he shot himself in the head, he wrote he could not live without her. She had worked her whole life, and paid into a system that ultimately kicked her to the curb. This Judge kicked her to the curb. He did not allow much of her Medical History to be presented, nor did he care to. I remember how hard it physically was for her to go to his hearing and he had no compassion for her at all. To say this destroyed our entire family would be an understatement. I hope he is disabled or loses someone he loves to suicide, but that would be to kind. I sent him a letter telling him what he caused and never received a reply or condolences. I hope he **** ** **** where he belongs.

Judge: Jeffrey P La Vicka
2/20/2019 8:15:29 AM

I had a hearing on Feb. 14, 2019. Everybody there was kind to me and treated me like a human being. I was so nervous I couldn't even think straight and shook entire time speaking with the judge. My mental state of mind was not due to anybody present at the facility, they were all very pleasant. The judge had patience with me thankfully. Alot of my medical issues were not mentioned, but through no fault of the judge. At the end of the hearing, I was asked if theres anything I'd like to add. I said no. Our representative had already caused the hearing to start late, and I didnt want to cause the judge to be late for his next hearing. I'm rating the judge with a 5 star because with the late hearing start, and me stumbling over simple questions he still treated me like a human being.

Judge: Richard E Guida
2/12/2019 4:26:18 PM

*********** ****** ***** is an awful adjudicator. Does not even look at doctor's info or statements. He ******* *****. Can only hope that one day his *** becomes disabled and knows what it is like. ****.

S. Carr
Judge: Regina Carpenter
11/26/2018 11:33:51 AM

I am extremely disappointed in my son's decision. Having an extremely rare and severe case of Nail Patella Syndrome, where all major limbs are affected, Chronic Kidney Disease, as well as a variety of mental illnesses, including depression, anxiety and ADD, I am (and all others that know him), shocked that his judge denied him SSI. His arms only straighten half-way (about 90 degrees) and because they are chronically dislocated and have little cartilage, his elbow bones rub together constantly causing pain. His right leg doesn't go straight either and his knee caps dislocate every time he bends his knees causing a lot of pain. He has the worst case of flat feet that I've ever seen causing so much pain as well. He has Chronic Kidney disease where she said he wasn't compliant with medication - which she said the same about anti-depressants - however, had she asked him about that, he would have told her that his mother stopped him from taking the CKD medicine originally prescribed because of the known terrible side-effects on patients with Nail Patella Syndrome and that 2 weeks later, he got a different prescription (a far safer drug) and has been on it ever since. As far as anti-depressant medicines, he's had terrible side-effects with each kind he's tried, that's not his fault! Not to mention, he's been on and off health insurance (like millions of people in the US) and so his psychological and psychiatric appointments have been staggered because of that but, she didn't ask him about any of this, not to mention his lawyer didn't say more than 2 sentences during the hearing. We are in a support group for folks with Nail Patella Syndrome and know several others who have been approved for SSI. He is more physically severe than most of them and most don't have the chronic kidney disease. He is on the verge of needing a kidney transplant, just like his aunt. Of course he is depressed! He fears he is going to die from kidney disease, just like my sister nearly did after going through serious rejection of her transplanted kidney. He watched her struggles and is terrified. He's very smart but has the lowest self-esteem because of his very visible physical disabilities, it's extremely unfortunate. I know several people who don't come close to having the same disabling conditions, as my son and are approved. I apologize for the vent but, I am in shock, as are those who know my son, who has already tried to commit suicide several times and who is always talking about taking his life because of all of his issues. His judge wrote in her decision that the attempt that landed him in the hospital was due to a single life event and that's sad because we've shown, in his evidence, that he's been depressed and seeing therapists on and off since he was 4 years old. I'm terrified that I'm going to lose my son. I hope the appeals council does the right thing and if they send his case back to his judge, I hope she does the right thing. ~ Terrified mom (PS I hope this doesn't hurt him, I'm just so sad for him b/c he just keeps saying, with this decision, that he just wants to give up.)

Judge: John Michaelsen
8/22/2018 1:41:33 PM

Judge Michaelson is the worst. Pray you don't get him as your judge, because he will ignore all of your medical evidence no matter how much you have or legitimate your disabilities are. He was not at all personable and very unpleasant during my hearing and didn't seem to care that I have a team of medical specialists saying I'm disabled. Apparently having EDS, severe psychological disorders, and even cancer isn't enough for him. You must have to be a paraplegic or be missing all of your limbs to be disabled enough for this joke of a "judge." If you are assigned this judge for your SSDI hearing, just accept right now that you've already lost your case. I hope this guy becomes disabled himself and is denied. He deserves to be homeless and treated like the ******* human he is.

Judge: Brian Crockett
8/17/2018 7:16:24 PM

This is a very very fair judge that looks at you when your speaking he is very polite and calm I had tons of medical records on file he must of read all of them I don’t believe we are just cases to him I feel he cares and if you tell the truth he will be fair also

Judge: John Michaelsen
7/16/2018 5:05:33 AM

Judge Michaelson must have spent a considerable amount of time reviewing my extensive medical history. Judge Michaelson was professional, very detailed, and prompt in his writing his decision. I recommend that you be fully prepared and that you have medical evidence that supports your claim. My case was extremely well documented and I had professional representation. Thank you Judge Michealson.

Judge: Brian B Rippel
6/27/2018 4:08:26 AM

Judge Rippel was very fair. He was polite and understanding. My advice is to be completely respectful and honest!

Judge: Jeffrey P La Vicka
6/21/2018 4:01:35 PM

The idea of this guy having the authority to mandate the well-being or my future in general is a complete nightmare. What a driving on a suspended DL in 1989 has to do with my deteriorating spine, and disabling knees, along with the mental issue that accompany them at the age of 51 in the year 2018 is a question to be answered. My hygiene habits, and my diet also have not a g-d thing to do with the extensive long list and painful severity that I have to endure daily to why I am applying for benefits. I wish you could live in my shoes for a day, the brutalizing verbal and physical abuse I suffered as a child, leaving me with the damaged lumbar of today, the falsely accused domestic violence and burglary by girlfriends that were less than worthy to be convicted of that you took advantage of to humiliate me with, and was a depressing reminder of the bad women in my life! The relationship with a succubus who poorly parents a daughter regularly visited by Child Services that has me in the rears with child support that you also made sure of being a points against me towards my "painful physical disabilities" attempt to get SSI. Not to mention, my means of transportation, the bicycle, that is killing my knees, and best for my spine keeping me off of the ground weight bearing down on my spine! Oh, and the pot smoked once prior to the Pain Management pee test in 2016, well Mr. Jeff Sessions that'll all change once I acquire my Medical Marijuana Card giving me the right to smoke daily to alleviate chronic pain and calm my PTSD. I do hope that we meet one day when you're not on the other end of a picture screen, and I can give you my decision to your well-being you ******** *****!

Bridge dweller
Judge: Nikki Hall
6/8/2018 12:19:38 PM

Well just recieved my denile letter from the appeals court trying to overturn "Judge" Halls decision on my case. Its been almost 4 years and I feel all is lost. Depleted my 401k and now owe the IRS $16.000.00 on top of bills I cant pay. I may surender my citizenship to Mexico and sneak across the border into California to get help. Had to give up a $100.000 job in maintenance but according to judge Hall I can do laundry or short order cook. Still doesnt change the fact I struggle to be on my feet. Im not one to wish ill will on anyone but Judge Hall forced ill times on me with her poor knowledge of hard work so I hope she could even feel 1/10 the desparation Im feeling right now.

James anderson
Judge: Richard E Guida
5/31/2018 2:19:38 PM

This *********** ****** **** does not know how to interpret disability law. He approved 22% only thus far in 2018. My advice, apply in a different county or state. Interrupts, and is not personable. Unprofessional

Trial Lawyer
Judge: Nikki Hall
5/21/2018 12:36:44 PM

I have been practising law for the better part of three decades, and I can say without reservation, appearing before ALJ Hall is the absolute low point of my career. She is mean, without a scintilla of common courtesy, and being in the same room (thank God for CC TV hearings) with her is just a miserable experience. If 10% of the jurists I had to deal with were as unpleasant as Judge Hall, I would have quit practising law, and went to used car sales years ago.

Judge: John Michaelsen
1/22/2018 12:58:26 PM

Judge Michealson needs to live in the real world. He made his decision in three weeks denying me. The VE said my skills where not transferable, there where no jobs I could do in the national economy. The judge gave the VE hypotheticals be said I could detail cars hospital housekeeper and mow lawns. Once my attorney questioned the VE changed his answer to no jobs that I could do. The judge said my Drs and I weren't credible. Where the he'll does he get off. He went by what SSD DRS said I've never even seen them. This judge doesn't care about anyone but himself.

Amy L Lemasters
Judge: Karen B Kostol
1/6/2018 8:03:36 AM

How do I contact the judge

Judge: Mark M Swayze
10/31/2017 1:39:41 PM

ALJ Swayze is a good judge - he is diligent with his knowledge of the case, and with his knowledge of the process. The biggest issue I have found with him is that he likes to micromanage his hearings to the point of correcting VEs and attorneys on their respective testimony and questioning. This comes off as aggressive and off-putting and can be demoralizing for an unaware claimant. Overall, however, he is relatively fair and reasonable.

Judge: Karl Alexander
10/20/2017 1:29:07 PM

terrible just in it for the money and a racists at that just look at his facebook

Judge: Karl Alexander
10/20/2017 1:27:05 PM

My kid forced though special classes then special schools then needs a doc and phy in every class then turns 18 and gets cut off of SSD ? WTH ? and this is the Self rightist , Hypocritical judge that did it . if it wasen't for me the kid would be homeless but not that daddy's little ( very little ) rich boy cares about others just look at his record .

Judge: Jeffrey P La Vicka
8/21/2017 11:37:48 AM

Denied twice
Judge: John Michaelsen
8/2/2017 1:27:23 AM

Judge Michaelsen doesn't care about anyone but himself and his ratings. I had my hearing the beginning of July and was denied in three weeks. The VE said there where no jobs I could do in the national economy, I am over 55 and have had my three doctors say that I can't work. I have severe PTSD, anxiety and severe depression and have been close to suicide several times. I had worked up until March of 2013. I had a breakdown after my husband died of stage 4 terminal cancer. I grew up being sexually abused by family members and beaten daily from my mom growing up. I had work from 1980 until 2013 accept for October 2009 to October 2010 because I had to take care of my husband. I tried going back to work but, it was very difficult. I have horrible nightmares of my childhood being abused on a daily basis. I have wished several times I wish my mom would have killed me or that I had died and not my husband. I have tried to work after he died but I had a hard time so I went onto FMLA and ran out so I was fired. I tried working in a warehouse but than I messed up my back and kept getting yelled at I would have anxiety attacks and not be able to go back until I felt I could and my doctors approved me to. At my hearing the VE said there where no jobs in the national economy that I could do. I guess I'll be living in my car and homeless because I've lost everything. I'm tired of people who have never worked get SSI they run around and do whatever they want. They need to be re-evaluated and pay there dues just like everyone else. Judge Michaelsen needs to try to get SSDI I would sure deny him and let him become homeless. Maybe he would change his arrogant attitude towards others.

Judge: Rebecca Adams
7/21/2017 8:34:33 AM

Outstanding judge, fair and compassionate. She's also very thorough.

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.

Judge: Nikki Hall
6/27/2017 10:41:50 AM

ALJ Hall is reckless and berates claimants and attorneys alike. She has a very nasty demeanor in the hearing and will cross examine the rep on their brief, so be prepared for a battle. Rationale in denying the claim lacks common sense.

Judge: Daniel F Cusick
2/7/2017 2:03:56 PM

This man makes you feel so relaxed and that he really cares and then he turns around and takes everything you say out of context. My fiancé can't even lift a gallon of milk because his shoulders are so bad after two failed replacements but because he can water a garden and do a few light house chores he said he can work eight hours a day. Now after eight years of SSD he has to find a job he can do. Financially ruined us with one swipe of a pen. Look out if you get him.

Tonya grant
Judge: George A Mills III
9/29/2016 10:11:40 AM

I want to understand how my case was denied when the occupational therapist himself said there was "ZERO" JOBS FOR ME AVAILABLE,with my limitations then how did I get denied my 5th time..I've proven my case over n over,,this is just not fair,,I think judge Mills. Should find me this so called work I can do with my limitations that WILL pay more then 733.00$ a month...find one for me please

Judge: Nikki Hall
8/1/2016 10:29:45 PM

Judge Hall is the biggest joke of a judge I have ever seen. Your case has already been decided before she even meets you. She will ask a few questions in opening and the rest of the time she'll just sit there and do absolutely nothing. I mean ABSOLUTELY nothing during the hearing. Your attorney will have to carry the entire case because she won't ask about anything. Of course when she finally makes her decision she cherry picks a few points in the case and refuse to acknowledge the entire chain of evidence presented. She is an absolute legal joke. Her approval rating is 24% while the national average is 44%. Trust me, your case was decided before she even walked into the hearing.

Judge: Richard E Guida
5/9/2016 5:55:46 PM

I have a hearing on Friday the 13th with this judge, I feel like I will not be approved because my disability is not obvious. Can I get some "pointers" or does anyone have any helpful suggestions for me? Thanks, A

Steven M Dunn
Judge: Karen B Kostol
3/21/2016 11:53:03 AM

My case was before you on November 16,2015. You was not fair on my case, you didn't look at the medical evidence, all you worried about was what the doctors said about me. I guess you like a bunch of gossip, Perhaps you spread it around yourself.

Judge: Richard E Guida
11/18/2015 12:31:52 PM

Here it is in a "nutshell"...this judge has a terrible approval is crystal clear to me that he does not listen to any witness testimony at all...he disregards all medical records, he disregards your lawyer testimony, he disregards his own disability doctors, he disregards all the claimants doctors and his own vocational expert...with that being could anyone win a case that is brought before him? is clear to me that he already decided on a "denial" before the hearing started...In my humble opinion, his top priority is denying claims no matter what and that is very sad that this is how our country and lawmakers treat people who have become medically disabled...the only witness he found credible was the insurance/disability doctor that looked at the records before the hearing (never examined me at all) and stated "that I am not disabled at all and can return to my previous job" Funny how he listened to her testimony huh? Talk about a scam.....yup that's right....A SCAM

Judge: Daniel F Cusick
11/13/2015 1:54:34 PM

This man was so gentle and kind during the hearing. Very accomodating, and seemed to be a person who listened, and seemed careful to get the testimony accurate. He gets one star for his kindness during the hearing. I received my hearing determination today. Everything I told him I can't do anymore, due to cataplexy (seizure like episodes) he says that I said that I can do these things. This is completely opposite my testimony. Not accurate at all. He even states I'm capable of going to the store on my own and spending time with family. When I clearly told him I can't drive more than about 30 minutes with Narcolepsy and only drive when I'm for fact certain I won't be a danger to anyone. This judge wrote my determination based on, and in his writing, the complete opposite of what was testified. This man obviously has no care for accuracy, or to award benefits to those who really need them. Just another example of our government being complete crooks, and leaving deserving proven disabled folks out to dry. I won a previous hearing in Dallas Tx.a few years prior, but worked as long as I physically could until my condition has worsened immensely. This is a total insult to me, an insult to my honesty, and integrity, and all the years of forcing myself to work because I never wanted to be a man who took handouts. But I expected my paid in benefits to be available in my time of need. The USA just said F-U Tim. Suffer peasant. I've lost every bit of faith in the US Government. We'll see how long it takes for my conditions to get me to mental illness. Then we'll see if I just happen to do anything Rash,or resort to 30 minutes to an hour of violence before I need a nap. Then wake up after an hour or so for another 30 min to an hour madness spree, since I've been fighting this corrupt system for 6 long years now. The Social Security system does not work. It leaves truely disabled people without benefits, yet complete faker , scammers get benefits without hassle at all. A disgrace.

Judge: John Michaelsen
11/2/2015 12:12:18 PM

Well as for myself and my 6 strokes and still being denied my SSD after paying in to it since 1980,never collecting unemployment always worked and now can not well I think you know my feelings.

Judge: John Michaelsen
8/6/2015 10:53:38 AM

The judge made false statements in my decision, stating that there was a vocational expert present when in fact there was no vocational expert and court recordings will be able to verify that. He used my disability against me in his decision, stating his opinion that tardiness at a work assessment was due to"low motivation towards work goals" when the incident in question was a result of the symptoms I was experiencing. There are false and contradictory statements on every page of my decision letter. He gives no weight to any supporting evidence and based his decision solely on personal opinion of my character. The judge is neither impartial, nor unbiased. It's no wonder his rating of approval is so far out of line with his peers' ratings.

Judge: John Michaelsen
6/9/2015 9:27:54 PM


Jeffrey Blair
Judge: Nikki Hall
6/5/2015 6:24:01 PM

I went before Judge Hall today and she was very professional and thorough! I have to wait for a decision but the thing I want to note is I was VERY nervous going into the hearing due to people looking down on you because it seems most people's first thoughts are "Oh he just doesn't want to work"! But Judge Hall did not give me that impression at all. I was nervous and upset for no reason. Some of us are truly unable to work and I believe Judge Hall notices that.No matter what her decision is I feel she is an Honest and Fair Judge, and if I'm denied I will appeal it again! I hope this helped someone else who has to go before her, I wish I could have seen a post about her before I had my hearing!!! Lol

Judge: Mark M Swayze
3/30/2015 8:03:04 AM

Very detailed oriented knows the file expects the attorney to know the file . Spends a long time with vocational issues.

Judge: Richard E Guida
7/8/2014 1:14:19 PM

Judge has a "God complex". You sir are charged with administering the LAW. YOU do not hold a MEDICAL license. YOU have no right to discredit what a doctor or several doctors state is a real disability to the point where someone is disabled.When a medical team including the IME's state a person is disabled what right does this idiot have to say a client is not? He is a joke and a discredit to anyone who rightfully administers the law. He is not concerned with protecting and upholding the law. He is focused on denying claims (see this clowns track record).When a judge dismisses 49% of all claims halfway through the year (2014) it should be an alarm to the court system that he is corrupt and should be investigated. He is completely clueless on how to do his job and should be disbarred and tried for his dis-service to the American people.

Judge: Richard E Guida
6/3/2014 6:56:56 AM

Awful adjudicator with a very poor knowledge of the Rulings and Regulations. His decisions are easy to appeal: they are so full of holes you could drive a Mack truck through them. My advice to you is if you are given a video hearing with this judge, OBJECT. Ask for an in-person hearing at your local ODAR because this man will do you no favors.

An Attorney
Judge: Richard E Guida
8/7/2013 8:59:45 AM

Tells you to "present your case" and then interrupts, interjects, cross examines and humiliates the claimant. If claimant's treating source has the audacity to charge a fee for a medical source statement, this judge will use it to discredit the opinions of the treating physician.

Judge: John Michaelsen
3/10/2013 4:18:09 AM

Judge Michaelsen was very thorough in his questioning of me. He considered all of my symptoms and their restrictions of my work activity. His decision letter was very precise and informative. I feel I had a very fair hearing. Thank you Judge Michaelsen.

J. Grimm
Judge: Karen B Kostol
2/21/2013 10:59:17 AM

Much thanks to Judge Kostol for her help and patience at my hearing. She asked very good questions and gave me many opportunities to comment. I was pleasantly pleased....after reading many generally negative comments about the process in general. She was thorough in her explanations and handled the case very well........Thank You, whatever the outcome!

Judge: Daniel F Cusick
2/11/2013 1:56:37 PM

I feel sorry for anyone that has this judge. I received my denial letter after my hearing. He flat out lied in the report to justify his decision. He reported that my daughter(actually niece) no longer has her disability which she does. He also made reference to getting a report from her speech teacher. She has never and still to this day has never had a speech teacher. He also made reference to her being in preschool when she was 7 years old as well as a kindergarten pretest which he did not have because my daughter did not live with me until her second year of kindergarten was half over and she lived in a different state. Will be seeking professional counsel regarding this case.

Judge: Richard D Brady
12/22/2012 5:50:37 PM

Was Judge Brady an attorney supervisor in Tampa ODAR before he became an ALJ? If so, he is a really nice man.

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.

Judge: Richard E Guida
8/6/2012 12:57:52 PM

Disregarded the opinions of my medical professionals, also no regard for the social security doctors opinions and denied disability. This judge gave no weight to overwhelming evidence proving disability. It is shameful and unprofessional. Looking at his track record he denied almost half of all claims.