California Social Security Disability Lawyers

If you are thinking about applying for Social Security disability in California, then you should weigh the benefits of hiring an attorney. An experienced Social Security disability lawyer can significantly improve the odds that your case will be approved.

Social Security data from California reveals that 38% of the Social Security disability claims are denied on average. Of course, most applicants that have been denied on their first attempt appeal the decision. However, the chances of approval are even worse in the first phase of the appeals process, which is formally known as reconsideration.

The vast majority of claimants will have to wait until their hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ) to have a significant chance of approval.

California has 17 Hearing Offices where you can go to have your case heard by an ALJ. They are listed in the above table.

Most successful Social Security disability claims are approved during the hearing, largely because the ALJs have more leeway in the way they handle claims and can actually see and hear you while you present evidence of your disability.

Overall, 40% of California disability hearings result in an disability benefits being awarded.

On average, California residents wait 579 days for their hearing before an ALJ. Some Hearing Offices are more favorable than others.

View Social Security Offices in California
Disability Statistics for California
Office Judges Avg. Hearing Wait Time Average Processing Time Avg. Dispositions Per Day Per ALJ Cases Dismissed Cases Approved Cases Denied
Stockton 7 9 months 409 days 2.23 22% 25% 52%
San Bernardino 8 20 months 600 days 1.74 21% 9% 70%
Los Angeles 6 18 months 575 days 1.88 16% 47% 36%
Los Angeles 8 23 months 660 days 1.97 17% 39% 44%
Moreno Valley 9 20 months 624 days 1.50 17% 48% 36%
Fresno 7 19 months 682 days 1.89 17% 35% 49%
San Diego 14 17 months 588 days 1.72 21% 60% 20%
Pasadena 7 17 months 557 days 2.08 19% 36% 45%
Long Beach 10 23 months 741 days 0.84 19% 15% 66%
Sacramento 12 16 months 580 days 1.88 19% 76% 5%
San Francisco 5 19 months 580 days 1.33 20% 39% 41%
San Rafael 6 21 months 647 days 1.71 50% 50% 0%
Oakland 10 13 months 461 days 1.46 47% 30% 23%
Orange 10 19 months 630 days 1.84 16% 46% 38%
Norwalk 5 19 months 570 days 2.05 15% 39% 46%
San Jose 6 16 months 433 days 1.83 18% 34% 48%
Santa Barbara 4 15 months 506 days 1.92 27% 49% 24%
All California 134 18 months 579 days 1.76 22% 40% 38%
ALJ Judges in California
Judge City of Operation Full Favorable Part Favorable Total ALJ Dispositions Total Awards Total Decisions Total Denials Total Dispositions
David J Agatstein Los Angeles 49 11 126 60 100 40 126
E. Alis Oakland 14 8 66 22 44 22 66
Josephine Arno Moreno Valley 29 26 129 55 114 59 129
Kenneth E Ball Orange 21 20 101 41 80 39 101
Edward T Bauer Pasadena 77 10 154 87 133 46 154
Peter F Belli Sacramento 13 2 33 15 29 14 33
Eric V Benham San Diego 36 6 98 42 69 27 98
Daniel Benjamin San Bernardino 42 4 116 46 90 44 116
David M Blume Sacramento 106 3 183 109 145 36 183
Shiva Bozarth Fresno 40 22 106 62 95 33 106
Richard T Breen Los Angeles 28 12 195 40 151 111 195
Carol L Buck Sacramento 57 5 112 62 95 33 112
Thomas D Businger Moreno Valley 30 8 97 38 77 39 97
Michael A Cabotaje San Rafael 58 11 143 69 133 64 143
James Carberry Norwalk 57 7 163 64 137 73 163
Ken H Chau Pasadena 33 8 128 41 105 64 128
Susanne M Cichanowicz Orange 14 13 122 27 92 65 122
Diana Coburn Long Beach 23 8 108 31 85 54 108
Carolyn Cohn-Morros Orange 53 5 115 58 90 32 115
Donald P Cole San Diego 21 12 90 33 83 50 90
Bruce T Cooper Pasadena 36 6 115 42 96 54 115
Paul Coulter Norwalk 61 7 132 68 102 34 132
James Delphey San Diego 14 1 81 15 59 44 81
Keith Dietterle San Diego 28 10 80 38 71 33 79
Barbara Dunn Los Angeles 39 11 116 50 73 23 116
Lawrence J Duran Sacramento 38 4 85 42 62 20 85
Carol A Eckersen Sacramento 44 6 109 50 93 43 109
Robert M Erickson San Francisco 49 5 108 54 87 33 108
Mary L Everstine Santa Barbara 48 5 107 53 86 33 107
Laura Fernandez Santa Barbara 22 10 107 32 94 62 107
John J Flanagan Oakland 61 1 89 62 74 12 89
Cynthia Floyd Long Beach 26 6 104 32 89 57 104
Mary M French Sacramento 14 0 31 14 22 8 31
Joyce Frost-Wolf Fresno 30 23 137 53 117 64 137
Thomas J Gaye San Jose 48 3 101 51 91 40 101
Kevin Gill Oakland 36 11 109 47 80 33 109
Sara A Gillis Sacramento 72 20 168 92 146 54 168
James D Goodman Pasadena 27 9 117 36 97 61 117
Edward C Graham Long Beach 65 4 127 69 100 31 127
Mark B Greenberg San Diego 42 8 85 50 71 21 85
Odell Grooms Long Beach 0 0 56 0 1 1 1
Odell Grooms Sacramento 26 0 56 26 38 12 55
Evelyn M Gunn Los Angeles 23 7 69 30 48 18 69
T. Patrick Hannon San Jose 71 7 143 78 122 44 143
Jr., Mason D Harrell San Bernardino 47 6 115 53 87 34 115
Daniel G Heely Stockton 172 8 321 180 305 125 321
Evangelina P Hernandez Oakland 50 5 95 55 80 25 95
Sanya Hill-Maxion Stockton 24 8 45 32 39 7 45
Mark Hockensmith Long Beach 0 1 105 1 4 3 4
Susan Hoffman Los Angeles 12 10 58 22 50 28 58
Serena S Hong San Rafael 45 21 122 66 105 39 122
Sharilyn Hopson Orange 34 12 122 46 90 44 122
Robert Iafe San Diego 22 3 57 25 46 21 57
Paul Isherwood San Bernardino 32 5 91 37 70 33 91
Derek Johnson Moreno Valley 27 7 97 34 76 42 97
John Kays Orange 50 11 114 61 93 32 114
Jean R Kerins Long Beach 15 9 61 24 32 8 35
Marti Kirby Moreno Valley 26 8 86 34 66 32 86
Christopher C Knowdell Sacramento 55 9 152 64 119 55 152
Henry Koltys Santa Barbara 53 3 137 56 119 63 137
Judith A Kopec Stockton 48 10 109 58 98 40 109
K. Kwon San Rafael 73 15 135 88 115 27 135
David LaBarre Oakland 20 20 106 40 86 46 106
Robert J Labrum Long Beach 29 3 74 32 54 22 66
Robert Lenzini San Bernardino 37 13 111 50 87 37 111
Jay E Levine San Diego 42 11 111 53 95 42 111
Kelly B Lind Orange 52 11 111 63 86 23 110
Elizabeth R Lishner Los Angeles 32 10 106 42 74 32 106
Joseph P Lisiecki III Orange 47 4 139 51 100 49 139
Katherine Loo San Bernardino 23 3 83 26 55 29 70
Katherine Loo San Francisco 4 0 83 4 7 3 13
Lisa Lunsford San Francisco 61 13 119 74 101 27 119
Phillip C Lyman San Jose 52 3 93 55 65 10 93
Jane M Maccione Stockton 26 5 100 31 79 48 100
Sharon L Madsen Fresno 14 33 160 47 138 91 160
David G Marcus Los Angeles 18 10 96 28 66 38 96
Julia Mariani San Rafael 76 6 108 82 99 17 108
Alan J Markiewicz Orange 23 3 72 26 53 27 72
Paula M Martin Moreno Valley 35 18 110 53 95 42 110
David R Mazzi Oakland 32 2 74 34 40 6 74
Kevin W Messer San Diego 41 20 163 61 142 81 163
Ruxana Meyer Fresno 8 2 127 10 20 10 30
Ruxana Meyer San Jose 26 19 127 45 95 50 97
Cynthia A Minter Norwalk 52 10 84 62 80 18 84
Vincent A. Misenti Stockton 21 4 108 25 95 70 108
Donna M Montano Pasadena 70 5 117 75 99 24 117
James L Moser Los Angeles 68 2 134 70 93 23 134
William K Mueller San Diego 70 15 138 85 109 24 138
Daniel Myers Sacramento 57 6 148 63 124 61 148
James P Nguyen Norwalk 38 1 88 39 74 35 88
Wynne O'Brien-Persons San Rafael 23 13 72 36 56 20 72
Mary Beth O'Connor San Rafael 11 2 27 13 19 6 27
Sung Park Los Angeles 23 7 112 30 68 38 89
Mary P Parnow San Francisco 55 8 138 63 108 45 138
Michael D Radensky Norwalk 44 10 139 54 110 56 139
Sally C Reason Los Angeles 41 3 126 44 90 46 126
Gail Reich Los Angeles 68 10 182 78 140 62 182
Michael B Richardson San Diego 49 7 138 56 105 49 138
Brenton L Rogozen San Jose 31 44 172 75 147 72 172
Robin Rosenbluth Los Angeles 41 13 137 54 101 47 137
Joseph D Schloss Moreno Valley 32 5 75 37 64 27 75
Randolph E Schum San Diego 17 17 126 34 106 72 126
Scot Septer Fresno 37 14 123 51 105 54 123
Troy Silva San Bernardino 35 3 64 38 49 11 64
Clary Simmonds Moreno Valley 37 5 107 42 94 52 107
Philip J Simon Pasadena 48 5 97 53 76 23 97
Trevor Skarda Stockton 47 16 135 63 118 55 135
Regina L Sleater San Jose 27 2 43 29 37 8 43
Timothy S Snelling Fresno 40 16 113 56 102 46 113
Elizab Stevens Bentley San Bernardino 48 20 131 68 98 30 118
Elizab Stevens Bentley San Francisco 6 1 131 7 13 6 13
Nancy M Stewart Fresno 49 13 110 62 96 34 110
Matilda Surh Stockton 23 6 101 29 81 52 101
Michelle Thompson Los Angeles 9 0 93 9 10 1 10
Michelle Thompson Sacramento 3 0 93 3 3 0 3
John C Tobin Long Beach 19 2 38 21 27 6 38
Cheryl Tompkin Oakland 15 10 71 25 63 38 71
Joel Tracy San Bernardino 40 16 137 56 109 53 137
Howard K Treblin San Diego 50 7 110 57 90 33 110
Lesley Troope Pasadena 62 9 131 71 101 30 131
John Trunick Moreno Valley 50 13 95 63 83 20 95
Debra M Underwood Oakland 42 6 86 48 70 22 86
Peter J Valentino San Diego 16 1 44 17 34 17 44
Andrew Verne San Diego 21 3 97 24 74 50 97
Plauche F Villere Jr. Sacramento 132 13 253 145 232 87 253
Melissa Warner Long Beach 0 0 101 0 1 1 2
Ena Weathers Long Beach 3 1 80 4 10 6 12
Alexander Weir III Los Angeles 49 3 153 52 97 45 151
Alexander Weir III Moreno Valley 1 0 153 1 1 0 2
Jr., Major Williams Oakland 35 1 67 36 45 9 67
Roger E Winkelman Santa Barbara 46 3 101 49 95 46 101
John W Wojciechowski Orange 33 0 85 33 53 20 62
Arthur Zeidman Oakland 42 7 100 49 85 36 100
Stacy Zimmerman Orange 27 20 127 47 107 60 127
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