About Our Attorneys and Staff

This website is more or less run by me. I am Paul McChesney, a lawyer who helps people get disability benefits in North Carolina, South Carolina, and occasionally Georgia. I also help people with Worker’s Compensation benefit problems in South Carolina. I have been doing this for about 34 years, and have presented seminars at the state and national levels. My firm’s name is McChesney & McChesney. The first McChesney was my father, who was a lawyer and then one of the first South Carolina Family Court judges, who retired to practice with me for a while. He has passed on after living a full life, and we left his name on the sign, as is a custom with lawyers.

Becky is our office manager, Trina, Amanda, Linsey, and Betty prepare cases for hearings, Kim types, and Vicki takes care of our clients’ problems as they arise.

Why am I running this site? Several reasons:

  • I enjoy spouting off about the one thing I know something about.
  • I meet some good folks.
  • I like the idea of guerilla marketing: Attorneys who advertise on TV are often nice folks, and often do know something about Social Security law, but don’t necessarily know anything about Social Security disability law. My hope is that this website shows that I do, and that it will incline you to hire me if you live in the Carolinas.

And it takes a lot of money to advertise on TV. This leaves less money to hire staff.

If I have been helpful, no obligation, except the obligation not to rely on anything on the site until you sit down with a lawyer and talk to him or her about the very important ordeal that you are about to go through, if you are thinking about filing a claim.

If you want to thank me, do one of these things:

  • Brag on our law firm and our web site if we have done a good turn for you, and
  • Encourage people with websites to link, with questions to ask, and with Social Security problems in the Carolinas, or Worker’s Compensation problems in South Carolina, to call or come by out firm.

Our Philosophy

Our goal in our practice is to handle each person’s disability claim well and fairly, to win every claim that should be won. We are not perfect and do not always succeed, but, if we can develop a sound theory of disability, we will take every reasonable step to prevail in your case.

We handle every case as a team. Each lawyer in our firm has studied Social Security law for years, and each of us has his or her strengths. Jenny and Paul are talented at initial interviews, James and Caroline are good at finding critical evidence in a large mass of medical records, Mark and Paul at handling hearings, Mark at Appeals Council work, and Paul, with the help of our paralegal Deb Dempsey, at District Court work. In the typical case 3 or 4 lawyers would worry about different aspects of your case, and you would be assigned an experienced paralegal who works closely with them and you throughout the case. We typically talk among ourselves about each case many times.

Though it varies a lot depending on the case, our typical case strategy is to develop a tentative theory, gather all medical evidence, adjust the theory, and try to gather the evidence to prove disability. For most impairments, we try to document your claim with objective data, to make sure you develop consistent treatment records, and to get a clear statement of disability from at least one doctor.

We are not interested in winning cases for anyone who is not in fact disabled, which tends to protect our credibility, and thus benefit you if you are in fact disabled.

We will be happy to talk to you if you have a serious impairment, but are not yet disabled, or cannot yet prove that. If that is so, we will try to give you guidance as to other community resources that might help you get or keep work, or develop proof of disability.

Serving the Disabled

If you live in North or South Carolina, we will be happy to speak to you personally if you have questions, and probably to represent you when you first file a claim, or if you are turned down in a claim for social security disability or SSI. We will also help you with worker’s compensation in South Carolina only.

Click here to contact us, or call us at 1-800-775-3985

If you live in other parts of the country, click here for help finding an attorney.

We generally charge nothing up front, and a percentage of any recovery.

We will get the evidence needed to show you deserve benefits and file all necessary appeals, including appeals to the Appeals Council and the Federal Courts, which are not uncommon in social security cases. If you consider another attorney, be sure that he or she is accustomed to handling cases at all levels. We try to prepare cases so that they can be won at a higher level if necessary. This is easier to do if the attorney is familiar with practice at these levels.

We try to give some guidance to our clients to help them benefit from other sources of assistance, such as the worker’s compensation system, the vocational rehabilitation system, veteran’s programs, the food stamp system, long term disability policies, claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Medicare and Medicaid programs, health insurance programs including continuation of insurance under the COBRA act, sources of free medical treatment and free medication, and other community resources.

If you want to talk to Paul on the telephone, it is often a good idea to go ahead and set an appointment, as well as leaving a message for him to call back. He often only has one or two chances to call you back, and that way, if he misses you, you and he will still get a chance to talk.