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Social Security

Advocating For Your Social Security Disability Benefits

Are you unable to work due to physical or mental health problems? Our Social Security disability attorneys can help you apply for benefits and navigate the appeals process.

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People who cannot work because of a physical or mental impairment are entitled to Social Security disability benefits. Social Security disability benefits are an integral part of the social safety net—these benefits protect disabled individuals and their families. We know how important these benefits are. That is why we practice Social Security law and why we are deeply invested in every person that we represent.

What We Can Do For You

We are dedicated advocates for the disabled. Day in and day out, we navigate this complicated area of administrative law. We help disabled people at every stage of the application and appeals process—from initial applications to requests for reconsideration, to administrative hearings and appeals into federal courts.

Our Social Security attorneys only practice Social Security law. We dedicate ourselves to this single area of practice because Social Security law is complex. The Social Security Administration is a nation-wide federal bureaucracy that interacts with thousands of individual claimants daily. The people who decide whether to award you benefits are governed by many sources of law, including federal regulations, federal court precedent, and internal agency policy statements. The people who decide your case must also understand how your medical conditions prevent you from working. We know the law. We understand the medical conditions. We can help you.

We are dedicated to winning benefits for disabled people. We have been doing so for people in Portland metro area for over 25 years.

Applying For Disability

We can help you at any stage in the process of applying for Social Security disability.

If you are denied after your initial application and you are disabled, do not give up your claim. The administrative process does not end with a denial of an initial application. You have 60 days to appeal an initial denial. If you are initially denied, you must request reconsideration to progress through the administrative process. Many people who request reconsideration are denied a second time. If you are denied a second time, then you have 60 days to request a hearing before an administrative law judge. If the judge denies your claim, you can request a review by the Social Security Appeals Council.

After all administrative appeals are exhausted, you may file an action in federal court. Learn more about "Applying for Disability."

We represent claimants with a diverse array of impairments. We regularly obtain benefits for people with many complicated conditions. To see a comprehensive list of all the social security cases we handle click here.

Get In Touch

(503) 228-5222
Social Security

Representative Cases

Auditory Processing Disorder 2019

Our client, a federal employee, came to us for assistance with applications for federal disability retirement benefits and Social Security Disability benefits.  Our office prepared both applications and submitted them to the appropriate government agencies.  Ms. Haggerty consulted with his…
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IgG4-related disease 2019

Our client, a self-employed technology worker, came to us for assistance filing an application for Social Security Disability benefits.  She was living with the negative impacts of a condition called immunoglobulin G4-related disease (IgG4-RD).   A person living with IgG4-RD often…
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Multiple Sclerosis Claim 2018

Claimant, the father of two young children, developed multiple sclerosis in 2004.  By 2010, his MS symptoms were so fatiguing that he would fall asleep at work.  His cognition was impaired, and he struggled to control his emotions.  Claimant stopped…
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Thanks & Praise


  • I had a complicated disability retirement that involved not only Social Security, but the Office of Personal Management.
    My lawyer was excellent. I have a fairly severe learning disability, and organization and paperwork are not my strong suit. She made sure I was organized and prepared, both with the paperwork and for the court appearance. I always felt respected, which is rare for someone with my condition when dealing with others.
    Disability client
  • I cannot express my gratitude
    and appreciation for the meticulous effort and successful case you put together on my behalf.  This has been an extremely difficult time for me.  You have helped by giving me the support and guidance toward a positive result.  Thank you, Melissa!
    Mary, Portland
  • I can’t thank you enough, Melissa, for all you’ve done
    toward getting this positive outcome. Your patience, clarity, support, and friendly professionalism saw me through a very tough time. I’m grateful to have had you on my side.
    Debra, Portland
  • I’m sure things went as smooth
    as they did because of you being my lawyer. The man at the local SS office said that people have a lot of respect for you in the SS world. Thank you again so much.
    Pam, Salem, OR
  • Finding oneself applying for disability
    is an extremely difficult position to be in. I found myself at times very confused and overcome with emotion. However, from the first time I met her, Melissa treated me kindly, respectfully and all the while maintaining a very professional demeanor. I was never anything but 100 percent confident in her abilities to guide me through this difficult time. Now that this difficult endeavor has wound down, I am filled with a sense of renewed hope. Thanks to your wonderful team, I now feel that I have been given a ‘fresh start’ in life. Not a lot of folks are given that opportunity.
    Speaking of teamwork, my thank you would not be complete without mentioning your assistant, Erin Daniels. Erin was also very professional, very helpful and I never felt as if I was being talked down to. She deserves a great big thank you for her efforts also.
    I will always remain forever grateful to the great staff at Swanson, Thomas and Coon.
    Suzanne, NE Portland
  • Melissa,
    thank you so much for all of your hard work! I will forever be grateful for all that you did to help me prepare for the hearing, for being so kind, for always answering my calls and emails so quickly, and for always being so helpful! You really have no idea how much my husband and I appreciate you. Thanks again for everything,
    Rachael, Portland
  • Melissa is a trust worthy lawyer.
    We had a very hard case which had a low chance of winning, but we did win. Melissa is patient and honest. She takes the time to explain any information even it takes a couple of times to explain the same thing. I found Melissa to be very professional. This was the first time I have ever had to go before a judge and it was a little scary but Melissa helped us be calm. I believe Melissa knows what she is doing.
    Becky, Hillsboro
  • Dear Melissa,
    thanks very much for helping with my SSDI hearing. You were so kind and gracious as well as helpful to me. You restored my faith in lawyers. My lawyer for my car accident claim was rude and didn’t follow through as promised. You were exactly the opposite and made me feel respected and comfortable/relaxed. Thanks VERY much.
    Sue, Portland
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