California Social Security Disability Lawyers

Applying for and winning California social security disability benefits is a lengthy process. Only 32.6% of initial social security disability claims are awarded in California compared to 32.1% nationally. If your initial claim is denied, you can submit a Request for Reconsideration. Initial appeals are awarded 11.8% of the time in the state of California and 11.3% of the time nationally. California SSD claims that have been denied a second time can be sent before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) at one of seventeen ODAR hearing offices in the state. The hearing offices that serve the largest populations and hear the most cases for the state of California are located in Moreno Valley, Pasadena, San Bernardino, San Diego, Los Angeles Downtown, Los Angeles West, Oakland, Stockton, Sacramento, San Francisco and San Jose.

If your case must go before an ALJ, the process of having your case heard and a decision reached will generally take nearly a year – an average of 335 days in the state of California and 349 days nationally. At the hearing level, 60.7% of California SSD cases are awarded, which is a bit more than the 58.3% of cases that are awarded nationally.

The award rates for CA disability cases vary considerably from office to office. The table below provides a list of approval rates and processing times for some of the busier ODAR hearing offices in Northern and Southern California.

Hearing Office Approval Rate Processing Time in Days
Los Angeles West 40.8% 279
Los Angeles Downtown 51.6% 263
Moreno Valley 48.1% 377
Pasadena 45.9% 360
San Bernardino 42.0% 363
San Diego 55.3% 394
Oakland 53.8% 373
Stockton 53.2% 285
Sacramento 59.2% 319
San Francisco 55.2% 310
San Jose 56.0% 341


Between the 11 offices listed above, there are 113 ALJs rendering decisions on California disability cases - 9 judges serve in Los Angeles West, 8 judges serve Los Angeles Downtown, 9 judges serve Moreno Valley, 8 judges serve in Pasadena, 18 judges serve in San Bernardino, 19 judges serve in San Diego, 9 judges serve in Oakland, 8 judges serve the Stockton community, 16 serve in Sacramento, 10 serve in San Francisco and 8 serve in San Jose. California SSD attorneys who regularly present cases before hearing offices will likely have established relationships with ALJs.

Click on the closest city to you for more information on hiring a California social security attorney in your area:


If you have a California social security disability case pending, contact your local California disability attorney to schedule a free consultation. You can complete a free evaluation right on this site. There is no charge for an initial consultation and you will not have to pay any attorney’s fees unless your disability lawyer wins your case.