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Melissa Haggerty


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Melissa was born in Eugene, Oregon. She was homeschooled as a young child, which instilled in her a deep passion for learning by exploration. As a fifth grader, she entered the public school system when her family relocated to Seattle, Washington. She earned a Bachelor of Arts at Willamette University and a J.D. at Lewis and Clark Law School.

Prior to law school Melissa held jobs painting houses, working at a reception desk, waiting tables, preparing museum exhibits, providing administrative support to lawyers, and as a photographer’s assistant.

At Lewis and Clark Law School, Melissa interned with the Office of the Metro Attorney in Portland where she worked on issues as diverse as land use, contracts, labor and employment, and solid waste. She also spent two years as a law clerk for the Lewis and Clark Legal Clinic. Experience with civil issues such as family law, tenants’ rights, taxation, and bankruptcy crystallized her passion for direct client service on behalf of those who may struggle to navigate the legal system independently.

Melissa earned a public interest certificate in law school with an emphasis in employment law. As a student, Melissa received the Dean’s Scholarship for excellence, the pro bono service award, and an award recognizing her as the most outstanding clinical student of her graduating class.

Melissa and her husband live in Southeast Portland and enjoy spending time in their vegetable garden and getting around town on their tandem bicycle.

Practice area focus:
Social Security disability benefits, both SSD and SSI, from initial application through federal court appeals.

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Melissa's Posts

A calculator, pencil, and pens sitting on a desk

2019 Cost-of-Living Adjustment for Social Security Disability Benefits

Most years, Social Security adjusts monthly benefits based on increases in cost of living. The 2019 cost-of-living adjustment is 2.8%. According to the government's fact…

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A pair of hands using calipers to measure a piece of wood, which represents the difficulty of the calculations necessary when applying for SSD coverage while self employed

Seeking SSD While Self-Employed

Many self-employed people contact us with questions about applying for disability.  Working for yourself if you have a chronic physical or mental health issue makes…

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Father in a field holding his young child. It can be important to remember that if you have been approved for SSD benefits, you and your child may also be eligible for auxiliary benefits, which depend on your earning record.

Applying for Auxiliary Benefits After SSD Approval

If you have recently been approved for Title II Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, there may be an additional benefit available for your family. This…

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An exterior photo of the Lloyd Center Tower at 825 NE Multnomah

Arriving at Social Security's new Portland hearing office

The Social Security Administration recently relocated their Portland, Oregon Office of Hearing Operations to the Lloyd Center Tower at 825 NE Multnomah St. in the Lloyd District.…

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piggy bank

2018 Cost-of-Living Adjustment for Social Security Disability Benefits

Most years, Social Security adjusts monthly benefits based on increases in cost of living.  After 2017's paltry .3% adjustment for cost of living, the 2018…

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SSI Overpayment Due to Vehicle Value

At times, we have people who contact us because they have been issued a "Notice of Overpayment" due to resources.  Because SSI is needs-based, to…

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