Administrative Law Judge Cynthia Rosa: Oregon's Worst Disability Judge

Blast Zone No. 39682 - 2 Comments
Set Up On:
Category: Judges - Federal
Last Known Home Address:
Portland, Oregon *****

Cynthia Dee Rosa is the worst Administrative Law Judge in the state of Oregon. During the 2021 fiscal year she only approved 79 out of the 266 applications for disability benefits before her. Her approval rating of 29.7% is the lowest approval rating of any ALJ in the Portland, Oregon area. Many other judges by comparison have approval ratings above 50%. I found this out recently when I became aware of a case in which she denied a man disability benefits despite statements from doctors saying that he is disabled.

The man I am talking about was ordered by a federal judge to get on disability as a condition of federal supervision in a criminal case. Judge Rosa seems to feel entitled to subvert the trial judge in that case while demonstrating complete ignorance of how federal supervision works. She wrote in her decision that a standard condition of supervision which requires supervisees to seek work unless excused by probation indicated that the court considered him capable of working. His probation officer wrote a letter in support of his disability claim, but she used that letter against him because it didn't state in writing that he had been excused form the work requirement. At the time he had been on supervision for nearly three years with no violations. Any lay person could have figured out that had he not been excused he would have been violated for failing to seek employment.

Then she felt entitled to second guess conclusions from doctors which specifically state that he qualifies for disability benefits. Judge Rosa basically admitted that she knows he qualifies by quoting a doctor correctly and saying in her own words, "the claimant's examining forensic psychologist advised him that he is qualified for disability." She claimed that doctor was "not persuasive because it is on a topic reserved for the Commissions (20 CFR 416.920(b)(c)(3),404.1520(b)(c)(3))." The part of the Code of Federal Regulations she cited merely states that a statement by someone not associated with Social Security cannot by itself qualify someone, but it does not say that such a statement cannot be persuasive simply because the topic is reserved for the Commissioner (

The last paragraph was preceded by the following statement:

"As for medical opinion(s) and prior administrative finding(s), the undersigned cannot defer or give any specific evidentiary weight, including controlling weight, to any prior administrative medical finding(s) or medical opinion(s), including those from medical sources." - Cynthia Rosa

It seems that Judge Rosa feels more qualified to determine if someone is disabled than medical professionals. Judge Rosa is a 64 year old woman with no medical training whatsoever. She lives with ALJ John Michaelsen whose record isn't much better than hers. He approved just 93 out of 280 applications last year for an approval rating of just 33.21%. What are the odds that the worst ALJs in this area live together?

I couldn't find a picture of Judge Rosa anywhere online, but her address is available on MyLife along with information about her living with Judge Michaelsen (

I didn't name the applicant out of respect for his privacy, but he has assured me that I've probably included enough for her to figure out who he is.

Judge Rosa and her husband have both retired so they're no longer the worst disability judges in Oregon. Great news for victims everywhere.

Shortly after their retirement, the victim in this case received word from his lawyer that the other side's lawyer agreed to seek a remand order due to legal errors committed by Rosa. Normally SSA defends the ALJ until a higher authority finds errors occurred, but the errors in this case seem to be so obvious that they're not worth disputing.

I updated this article to include a PDF which shows the approval ratings of all 12 administrative law judges in Portland, Oregon for the 2021 fiscal year. It clearly shows that the two worst judges live under the same roof.

What are the odds that the bottom two ALJs with the worst approval ratings live under the same roof? To put that another way more favorable towards them or at least objective, what are the odds that the two ALJs which receive the largest percentage of invalid claims live under the same roof?

I don't know what those odds are, but I have a feeling that they are not very high.

Login to Comment using a Cop Blaster Account.


Register if you don't have a Cop Blaster account.