Paul Baker, Social Security Lawyer in Kentucky


Paul Baker

Paul Baker’s passion for Social Security disability law is personal. The Harlan County native lost his father, a coal miner, when he was three years old, leaving his mother to raise him.

“If it hadn’t been for Social Security, I don’t know what we would’ve done,” he recalled.

Law wasn’t initially on his radar, but finding a way out of the mining life was. In addition to his father, the young Baker lost two uncles in that line of work. “My mother’s one goal in life was that I get an education and not end up in the coal mine,” he said.

Noticing other families turn to Social Security disability benefits during times of need reminded Baker of his family’s own struggles and focused his aspirations. After graduating from Union College in Barbourville, where he majored in history and minored in philosophy, he attended the University of Kentucky College of Law in Lexington. He worked two jobs to support himself through law school.

Baker established his practice in Barbourville in 1985, where he’s advocated ever since for those seeking Social Security disability benefits. He is a member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives, and he’s won claims for clients in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia, handling cases at all levels. In addition to Social Security appeals, denials, and and claims, the firm helps people pursue much-needed compensation in auto accidents and other personal injury claims.

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Baker feels an affinity for his clients and how in their circumstances, disability benefits are a much-needed lifeline. “Social Security often is a program of last resort,” he said. “They paid into that program their whole lives. It’s not an entitlement.”

His modest background is a frequent touchstone for him, one he explains through a sports metaphor. “I always had a problem where people get on third base and act like they hit a triple,” he said. “I know struggle.”

That strong sense of compassion and service extends to Baker’s family. Daughter Jessica Baker and stepson Patrick House both are attorneys at the law firm, and his wife, Susie Baker, is the office manager.

In his off hours, Baker enjoys gardening, caring for two Great Pyrenees dogs, fiddling with old cars, and collecting historic firearms, such as guns used in the Civil War, World War I, and World War II.

He chalks up his firm’s success and longevity to his devotion and determination to help his clients. “We don’t give up,” he said. “Except for the graces of God, there go I.”

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