Bethany K. Laurence


Bethany Laurence is a Senior Legal Editor at Nolo, where she has worked since 1997. She holds a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and is a member of the California Bar. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English from Boston University. 

Disability law. At Nolo, Bethany is the editor for the Disability Law Center and the Social Security and Medicare Center. She edits the books Nolo's Guide to Social Security Disability; The Complete IEP Guide; Social Security, Medicare, and Government Pensions; and Long-Term Care. Bethany is a member of NOSSCR (National Organization of Social Security Claims Representatives).

Business law. Bethany has also combined her legal and financial expertise to edit many Nolo small business books, such as LLC or Corporation and How to Form an LLC, and is the lead editor for Nolo’s online LLC and corporation services. Over the years she has co-written several business books, including Business Buyout Agreements: Plan Now for Retirement, Death, Divorce or Owner Disagreements; Save Your Small Business: 10 Crucial Strategies to Survive Hard Times or Close Down & Move On; and Bankruptcy for Small Business Owners: How to File for Chapter 7. 

Other pursuits. In addition to her work at Nolo, Bethany co-founded several educational nonprofit organizations, including River Montessori Charter School and Red Barn Montessori, and served on their boards of directors. She most recently served on the board of the Magnet Program Foundation of Hillcrest Middle School. Bethany has also volunteered her time at a disability law clinic in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco.  

Originally from Rhode Island, Bethany enjoys reading and hiking in the redwoods of Northern California.

Articles By Bethany K. Laurence

Calculating Disability Benefits for Children of Disabled Parents
A minor child of a disabled person who receives Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) can receive a monthly cash benefit check until the child turns 18.
What Do I Need From My Doctor to File for Disability Benefits?
The right medical records and statement from your doctor will go a long way in getting approved for disability benefits.
Can You Get Disability After Back Surgery?
Corrective surgery for degenerative disks, stenosis, or other back problems may leave someone unable to work - "disabled" according to Social Security - and eligible to receive monthly disability benefits.
Will Alcohol or Drug Addiction Affect My Disability Claim?
Claimants struggling with drug addiction or alcoholism can still win disability benefits, as long as the substance abuse does not affect the primary disabling medical condition(s).
Can You Get Disability for Drug Addiction?
If drug abuse has caused serious physical damage, you may be able to get disability benefits from Social Security.
Disability Benefits for the Divorced Spouse of a Disabled Worker
If your ex-husband or wife became disabled and they earned enough Social Security credits to be entitled to SSDI, you may also be entitled to benefits.
Can I Get Disability for Heart Problems or Cardiovascular Disease?
Social Security looks at various tests to determine the severity of your heart condition and whether your doctor has restricted your activities.
Collecting the Social Security Benefits of a Deceased Spouse
There are several ways the surviving spouse may be able to collect benefits from Social Security. It gets a little complicated.
Getting Medicare or Medicaid if Approved for Disability
People with disabilities (according to Social Security's definition) are able to get government health care insurance.
Social Security Survivor Benefits: Eligibility and Filing
If a disabled person who was receiving SSDI dies, the money that they were receiving can potentially go to his or her dependents.