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About me

At my website, I offer information that you may find helpful, including:

1)  Tips on Applying for Social Security disability benefits

2)  Advice with regard to specific medical conditions

3)  Information about drugs and alcohol -- and how they affect an application for disability benefits

4)  Information about the financial limits on income and resources to qualify for SSI benefits

5)  Information about immigrants and refugees who qualify for disability benefits

6)  An explanation of  what you can do to earn income -- AFTER you are found disabled -- without losing your benefits.

 Check out my blog -- I post at least weekly on topics of interest.

Finally, if you'd like to listen to me discussing topics you may be interested in, such as fibromyalgia and disability, depression and disability, what to expect at a hearing, whether you can work while you wait and more, please take a look at the videos on this page.


Languages spoken: Spanish, English

Photos and videos

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Practice areas


  1. Social Security: 100%


Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

6 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Cynthia Furrer Newton

    Cheryl is an unabashed advocate for her clients. She is a tremendously skilled advocate with a proven record of success before the social security hearings judges. I highly recommend her to anyone seeking assistance in the social security disability arena.


    Cynthia Newton Medical malpractice Attorney
    Relationship: Co-worker

  • Aaron W Fields

    Top notch lawyer. Cheryl's posts on Avvo are brilliantly written, and she is extremely knowledgeable.


    Aaron Fields Social security Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

Refugee Disability Benefits Oregon

1137 SW Broadway
Portland, OR, 97205


DCSuspended - Non-Payment of Dues198607/10/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Certificate of AppreciationOregon Labor Law Conference2014
Certificate of AppreciationNorthwestern School of Law, Lewis & Clark College2012
Certificate of AppreciationOregon Paralyzed Veterans and the Brain Injury Organization of Oregon2012
Certificate of AppreciationOregon Labor Law Conference2012
Certificate of AppreciationBrain Injury Alliance of Oregon2011
Outstanding Service AwardOregon Department of Justice1994
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Executive Director, AttorneyRefugee Disability Benefits Oregon2016 - Present
Managing Attorney, Social Security Disability TeamSwanson Thomas Coon & Newton2010 - 2016
Senior Assistant Attorney GeneralOregon Department Of Justice1987 - 1997
Adjunct ProfessorLewis & Clark School of Law1987 - 1989
Staff Director, Chief Counsel, Legal CounselUnited States Congress1981 - 1986
Assistant Attorney GeneralUSVI Department of Justice1978 - 1980
AssociateDrinker Biddle & Reath1977 - 1978
Association namePosition nameDuration
Oregon Trial Lawyers AssociationCo-Chair, Section on Social Security Disability2014 - Present
National Organization of Social Security Claimants RepresentativesMember2010 - Present
Environmental Law AllianceBoard Member, Past Chair2010 - Present
Oregon State BarChair, Disability Section2015 - 2015
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Traumatic Brain InjuryFavorable
Bipolar, DepressionFavorable
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
Trial Lawyer (OTLA)Full Disclosure: The SSD Attorney's Duty to Disclose (or not) Adverse Evidence2015
Trial Lawyer (OTLA)Social Security, Workers' Comp and Personal Injury2014
Oregon Senior NewsEarly Retirement or Social Security Disability?2014
Oregon Senior NewsYour Medical Records: Do You Know What's in Them?2014
The National Association of Disability Examiners: The AdvocateA Day in the Life of a Disability Attorney2014
Trial Lawyer (OTLA)A Piece of the Puzzle: SSD Benefits for Your Injured Client2014
Newsletter of the Fibromyalgia-ME/CFS Support CenterAre We Making Progress? New Social Security Ruling on CFS and Disability2014
Senior NewsThere’s No Shame in Social Security Disability Benefits2014
Social Security brochureEsta Usted Discapacitado?2013
Oregon State Bar BulletinRepresenting Refugees and Immigrants2012
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of Washington School of LawLawLL.M - Master of Laws1981
Boston University School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1977
Bryn Mawr CollegePolitical ScienceBA - Bachelor of Arts1974
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
OHSU Grand Rounds PsychiatryUnderstanding your patient's disability case2015
OVRS Annual In-ServiceSocial Security Disability2014
Oregon Women Lawyers AssociationAt the Corner of Law Practice and Disability2014
Joint Conference of OTLA and BIAORBrain Injury and Social Security Disability2014
18th Annual Oregon Labor Law ConferenceSocial Security Disability2014
OTLA Brown BagUnderstanding Social Security, Workers' Comp and Personal Injury Law2013
Oregon State Bar, Disability Law SectionSocial Security Disability Benefits2013
OARP Annual MeetingEthical Issues in Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability2013
Northwest Conference on Social WorkSocial Workers as Gatekeepers to Disability Benefits2013
NASW Aging Network Breakfast ForumSocial Security Disability2013
Local MeetingsFibromyalgia-ME/CFS and Disability2013
Presentation at the Beaverton Public LibraryUnderstanding Social Security Disability2012
Brain Injury Association of OregonChildren and SSI Benefits2012