Q: If you don't have a social worker, I've seen some at Outside In and Cascadia Behavioral Health. Whenever I have panic attacks at OI they send in the social worker, but not sure if she can do referrals, but maybe worth asking? Cascadia hasn't been great for therapy, but they do have the social worker hook up. Sometimes you need to teach them what resources to look into, but they do have a certain power within the system to write letters and file forms.
Q: I was able to find a social worker and therapist who were willing to do phone sessions with me when I explained I was able to sometimes stay at places in Southern Oregon or camp out in the forest. It meant I didn't have to drive or find rides to Portland, but could still show that I was being a good sick person and sometimes the sessions were supportive.
Q: Melissa Haggerty was my lawyer and she was so amazing. Super respectful of my pronouns and got the judge to not use gendered titles for me. This is her firm https://www.tcnf.legal/
Ɣ: My lawyer, whom I reached out to after my second appeal (moving in to the ALJ hearing where I go before a judge) was Lisa Porter at JP Law in Lake Oswego. Her two paralegals were very kind - One of them was very caring, though a bit pushy in the “you need to be on meds to try and manage your mental health” when I first met her and shared my initial case. I was like, “You are not my doctor, hun.” But after some reflection I appreciated this, taking away the idea that having it in my case that I have tried to manage my issues with medications helps a lot, and nearly legitimizes any mental-health related disability. (I gathered SSA won’t take your case as super legit if you refuse medication, ie refuse “help.”) The other paralegal was so darling and sweet-natured, really calming to my nerves when I had to message her or drop off my medical records, which she organized and collated. It was a small law set up, very intimate. The actual lawyer Lisa Porter was super compassionate, which was surprising. I hadn’t spoken with her at all until a month or so before my hearing date, which was a bit nerve-wracking to be honest, but we had a nice long hour or so briefing before the hearing at the court office and I was very pleased with her demeanor and aptitude. She respected my gender, queerness, and experience of disability. And she seemed to know what I should bring up/speak to and what I should leave out in terms of what the judge wanted to hear and what would help move things along quickly so I didn’t have to be in the hearing for too long (knowing it would be uncomfortable and traumatic). JP Law firm’s site: http://jplawpc.com