When you’re struggling with illness or injury, you need a law firm that has its values in the right place.

Attorney Joel Cunningham Jr. and our staff members value meeting you face-to-face and getting to know you personally.

Out-of-town lawyers might not meet you for your SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY INSURANCE (SSDI) case until the day you have a hearing with an administrative law judge.

We value your dignity. We want to make the legal process as comfortable as possible for you.

That’s why we established a video hearing center in our Halifax office, so you can come here when you need to face a judge with your disability claim.

If it’s farther for you to drive to a hearing office in Danville, Farmville, Lynchburg, Charlottesville or Richmond, we save you the travel.

We also help if you’re struggling with access to health care. If you can’t work because of medical problems, you need treatment. You need it both for your well-being and your case. We’ll help you find insurance and enroll.

We value our neighbors. We sponsor children’s sports teams. We believe you should be able to see who we are in the community. We maintain offices in Halifax and Hopewell.

When you’re looking for a lawyer to help with a disability claim or PERSONAL INJURY case, find someone local who pays attention to you.

Call us today
Social Security Disability Attorney Halifax, VA
Social Security Disability Attorney


Cunningham Law Group gets its bedrock values from Joel C. Cunningham, retired Virginia Circuit Court Judge.

Before he was a judge, he provided free representation to Social Security Disability claimants through the Virginia Legal Aid Society.

After he became a judge, he encouraged younger lawyers to donate some of their services to people in need.

He’s always been a champion of people with disabilities and financial disadvantages.

During his career, he advocated for disability applicants, children in special education and people struggling with creditors.

He started a drug court. He received the Community Service and Scales of Justice Award. He was the first African-American appointed as a judge to Virginia’s 10th Judicial Circuit.

But maybe the most important thing was how Judge Cunningham passed these values to his son, Joel Cunningham Jr., who was inspired by his father to help his Virginia neighbors through Cunningham Law Group.

Joel Cunningham Jr. established the firm in 1998, in conjunction with his father switching to work as a judge. Since then, we’ve helped thousands of Virginia residents.

Meet Our Team

Joel Cunningham, Jr. - Attorney

Joel Cunningham, Jr. Attorney

Attorney Joel Cunningham Jr. prides himself on meeting you in person and understanding what you’re going through.

He’s southern Virginia all the way. He grew up on a tobacco farm. Today he lives on a farm with horses, honeybees, fruits and vegetables.

Joel got his bachelor’s degree from Hampton University and his law degree from North Carolina Central University.

He’s been practicing Social Security Disability law more than 25 years. He takes 40 to 50 disability cases to federal court appeals every year.

And he’s got more than 20 years of experience with personal injury litigation, including major settlements with insurance companies.

Elizabeth Cunningham - Health Care Navigator

Elizabeth Cunningham Health Care Navigator

For a law firm, Cunningham Law Group offers a rare service: helping you find health insurance.

Elizabeth Cunningham – who is married to Joel Cunningham Jr. – is our health care navigator.

She’s a registered nurse who’s also trained to locate affordable insurance, help you register for it and help you appeal if you lose coverage.

Elizabeth can also help find clinics offering free or affordable treatment options.

This isn’t just a convenience. It can be crucial to your Social Security Disability case.

If you can’t work because of your health, you might lose health insurance. But you need to show a record of medical treatment to qualify for Social Security Disability.

Elizabeth also helps explain medical records and terms for you.

She speaks four languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese and Creole French.

As a member of the Halifax County Chamber of Commerce and Business Squared, she helps Cunningham Law Group stay involved in the community.

Like her husband Joel, Elizabeth is inspired in her work by the story of her parents.

They were both immigrants who didn’t have insurance. When her Dad got cancer, he didn’t receive any treatment because of the cost.

That experience gave her a lifelong passion for helping people. She considers it her mission to help people struggling with illness and disabilities.

Gloria Bates - Secretary/paralegal

Gloria Bates Secretary/paralegal

One of the first people you’re likely to see when you walk in the door at Cunningham Law Group is Gloria Bates.

She’s a secretary and paralegal who has worked with Joel Cunningham Jr. since 1998.

Gloria schedules appointments for people who need to apply for Social Security Disability benefits.

She answers your questions.

She also collects and organizes your medical records, helps prepare your Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income case and confirms your hearing date when you’re appealing a denial.

Paula Orellana - Social Worker/paralegal

Paula Orellana Social Worker/paralegal

You might meet Paula Orellana when you’re first applying for Social Security Disability benefits.

She manages many of our initial applications at Cunningham Law Group.

Paula is a paralegal and social worker who also handles community outreach for the firm.