***Neither by accessing this site or by reviewing its contents has an attorney-client relationship been formed or established with Chitwood and Fairbairn, PA or with any of its attorneys, including Holly Fairbairn or Susan Chitwood Barton, and nothing contained in this site shall constitute the giving or rendering of legal advice or be construed as a legal opinion, or guarantee of a particular resolution of a legal problem. Information is provided as a public service, and is not intended to be a substitute for legal counsel. The information provided is general in nature and may not apply to your circumstances. The information herein is not contractual or binding. You should not decide to take any action or refrain from action based upon this information. You should consult an attorney before making any important decision involving a legal matter.
While we are based in Asheville, we cover all of Western North Carolina, including the areas around Hendersonville, Brevard, Waynesville, Sylva, Franklin, Burnsville, Spruce Pine, Marshall, Mars Hill, Bakersville, Weaverville, Asheville, Black Mountain, Candler, Old Fort, Marion, and Fairview. The counties we typically cover include: Clay, Cherokee, Graham, Macon, Swain, Jackson, Haywood, Henderson, Transylvania, Polk, Buncombe, Madison, Yancey, Mitchell, and McDowell.
We also handle appellate brief-writing related to administrative law (Social Security Administration) in certain other regions of the country by arrangement with local counsel. Attorneys Susan Chitwood Barton and Holly J. Fairbairn are licensed to practice law in North Carolina.
The laws and policies that govern Social Security would fill a room if all the pages were printed out. Just the policy manual for SSA is over 20,000 pages long. We work with these laws and policies every day and have learned the ins and outs of the programs. Your chances of approval could improve as much as 50% by hiring an attorney, according to national statistics. We have also found that a local lawyer makes a difference for SSA claims. Certainly, if you are coordinating benefits, such as short- and long-term disability, workers compensation, federal pensions, retirement, and the timing related to those, you should consult with an experienced attorney.
For years, we have been winning Social Security, SSI, Medicare, and Medicaid claims with thoughtful preparation, careful study, and concern for each client. We have assembled a special staff—experienced paralegals and a former manager of Asheville’s Social Security office. This team is unique! We also "do things" a little differently: an attorney reads every page of incoming medical, educational and vocational evidence, analyzing each in light of your case to see if adjustments to the presentation of your case needs to be made. An attorney meets with you three times before your hearing (if you need one). An attorney will conference with you (in office or on the phone) in the event that you have a special complication arise in your case. Our paralegals handle important aspects of your case, but ask around, and please let us know if you find another Social Security practice where an attorney opens and reviews every piece of mail, every email, every fax, and is willing to conference when issues arise. Having an attorney who reads the file (or a paralegal's summary of it) just prior to hearing is not the same, in our opinion, and you will experience the difference that makes in the results we obtain for our clients.
If you are unable to hold down a regular job because of physical, mental or emotional problems or disabilities, you may be eligible to receive your Social Security disability benefits now. It is common to be turned down when you first apply. But, do not be discouraged! Attorneys Susan Chitwood Barton and Holly Fairbairn have helped thousands of people get the help they deserve from Social Security disability.
I just think you're the best [Holly]
-a mental health service provider
Chitwood and Fairbairn, P.A.
Each attorney here only handles one type of law. This means that we are available for scheduling only for that area of practice. We will not pass up a hearing date because we have a Worker’s Comp mediation or real estate closing or other obligation. Once a hearing date is gone, another will not be offered for up to approximately three months. If you work with another office, you won’t know about it because the hearing scheduling is done over the phone with your attorney’s office. Also, although most people try to win by themselves at the initial and reconsideration levels, we are happy to work with you at those levels to try to win early and to at least develop your case so that it is viewed favorably should a hearing be necessary.
At your first meeting with us, we will begin work on your personalized “Residual Functional Capacity” (RFC) form. That form will be forwarded to your doctor by us once we have confirmed the appropriate “onset date” in your case (which can be affected by recent work, old applications, your age, or type of disability program). While this process is complicated and we cannot control all of the scheduling delays, we can control some of them and we will work to get your approval as soon as possible. The people we choose to work with as clients are deserving—of their benefits and of our respect and attention.
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Call us for a free consultation: (828) 252-0492 or (800) 495-0492.
How do we make the process faster for you?
We don't get paid until and unless you are approved. In most cases, we can even cover your costs until you have your money in hand. In SSD/SSI claims, ask us about helping you to apply. (To our knowledge, we're the only firm in WNC that will help you apply.) If you are approved early, we charge a reduced minimum fee. Even if you are denied, we learn sooner what we have to do to get you approved. That helps us because we have more happy clients spreading our good name, and we feel better knowing we have spared you the wait to be approved.
Also, if you have a claim for Long Term Disability, our payment does not come from your backpay or your pocket; our services are as free as those (like Allsup or Genex) that your LTD company found for you in Illinois or some other faraway place .
What you have done for me, your involvement in my case...has changed my life. Thank you. -John
Representation and legal counsel before the Social Security Administration.