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Scott Sell


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Scott Sell was born in Minnesota in 1980. Early in his life, Scott worked in the building trades and as a foundryman at a production bronze foundry.

Scott attended Marlboro College in Marlboro, Vermont with a scholarship for the study of social justice. During his undergraduate career, he designed classes in creative writing for incarcerated people and taught inmates at a nearby correctional institution.

Between college and law school, Scott worked as an English language teacher in Istanbul, Turkey; as case manager for adults with mental illness in Vermont and Massachusetts; and as a Benefits Advocate at Central City Concern in Portland, Oregon. While working as Benefits Advocate, Scott exclusively represented homeless clients applying for social security benefits.

Scott attended Willamette College of Law in Salem, Oregon with a Law Merit scholarship. During law school, Scott worked in the social security section of Thomas, Coon, Newton & Frost. He also represented the state in community court proceedings as a clerk for the Multnomah County District Attorney’s office. Scott graduated law school Magna Cum Laude.

Before returning to Thomas, Coon, Newton & Frost, Scott served as the Senior Clerk for the Honorable James C. Egan at the Oregon Court of Appeals.

Scott lives with his wife and son in Southeast Portland. He is a committed bicycle commuter.

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

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Scott's Posts

A policeman walking through slats of sunlight

Did Social Security Send Someone to Spy on You?

The Social Security Administration hires state police to investigate some people who apply for disability benefits.  That doesn’t happen in every case—anecdotally, we only see…

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A pictures of pens, paper, and a calculator - the Social Security Administration has made it more difficult for people with disabilities to be approved

What do the recent Social Security rule changes mean for disabled people?

The Social Security Administration has been making the application process harder for years In mid-June of this year, the New York Times published a good…

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Attorney Scott Sell and Tina Martin standing outside the Oregon State Capitol, preparing to testify in defense of legal protections for Oregonians living with disabilities.

Victory in the Legislature—TCNF defends access to medical records

In 2015, Cheryl Coon, while working at TCNF, successfully advocated for a state law that required medical facilities to provide one free set of medical…

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Social security benefits form

An Informative Vox Article on Social Security Disability Insurance

Vox just published an excellent, well-researched article about Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). It does a great job of explaining why this program is an…

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What Will President Trump do about Social Security?

On January 20, Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States. Throughout his campaign, President Trump repeatedly promised that he would neither cut…

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Can this Case be Won?

This feature appears from time to time as a means of illustrating the challenges that many applicants for social security disability benefits experience, in their…

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