The Injury & Disability Law Center August 2019

The Sentinel

www.idlawcenter.com 575-208-1608

August 2019

Personal Injury, Social Security Disability, and Workers’ Compensation

Helping Our Most Vulnerable Why I Love Handling Social Security Disability Cases

In last month’s newsletter, my brother Jeremy shared the story of the car accident that inspired him to embark on a career tackling personal injury cases. Hearing him talk about that time —which was almost as scary for me as it was for him— always reminds me of two things: how thankful I am to still have my brother at my side, and the very different set of circumstances that led to my own specialization in Social Security disability cases. While Jeremy’s introduction to personal injury cases was dramatic, I decided on my specialty more gradually. After I graduated from Baylor Law School, I joined a firm that didn’t have a lawyer to handle Social Security disability work. I wasn’t sure which area of law I wanted to concentrate on at the time, so I looked into Social Security disability to find out if I’d be a good fit to fill that gap. I was immediately drawn to the cases. Part of the reason I’d gone to law school was because I wanted to help people, so it’s no surprise that I loved the idea of working on behalf of those who are going through hard times. I’ve been representing clients who are disabled and can’t work for more than 16 years now. More recently, I also started to represent veterans on their disability claims. Both of those areas have something important in common: They allow me to help people who are at extremely vulnerable points in their lives. Not only are people seeking Social Security or VA benefits struggling with physical or mental health issues, but they’re often also in dire financial straits because they’re unable to work. I love taking the burden of that stress from them and encouraging them to focus on taking

care of themselves as they go through the process of applying for benefits or appealing a denied claim. Here at The Injury and Disability Law Center, we encourage all of our managers and other staff to take care of our clients to the best of their ability. Above all, that means making sure the client doesn’t have to worry about anything except giving us the occasional piece of information. When we take on a new client, the first thing we tell them is that we’re going to take over both their stress and the process of dealing with the government. Their only job is to take care of their health. Social Security and VA disability claims are complicated, and governmental red tape can compound that confusion. Until we step in to help, many clients don’t fully understand the procedure for filing a claim or what they should do to increase their chances of approval. That’s why it’s vital that we counsel our clients

and give them advice to help them succeed. A big part of that is urging them to go to a doctor for specialized treatment. Conditions like depression, anxiety, or PTSD can be just as disabling as a physical injury, but if someone dealing with mental health issues isn’t seeing a psychiatrist, counselor, or other specialist, Social Security won’t take their claim seriously. Unless you’re as intimately familiar with the process as we are, it’s easy to underestimate how important things like that can be. Even when it’s difficult, I’d never trade this practice area in for another. I love when I get to call a client at the conclusion of what is often a two-year process and tell them that they’ve been approved. Taking someone from that first stage of a claim, when they’re at such a low point in their life, to the happy ending of receiving benefits is extremely rewarding. After being in a dark place for a time, all of the sudden there is light at the end of the tunnel. You can’t imagine the relief and joy they feel when they hear those words or the satisfaction I get from knowing they’re finally happy and secure.

“Taking someone from that first stage of a claim, when they’re at such a low point in their life, to the happy ending of receiving benefits is extremely rewarding. After being in a dark place for a time, all of the sudden there is light at the end of the tunnel.”

-Jo sh Worley

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