A Beacon of Light Through Adversity
A NATIONAL DISABILITY LAW FIRM • SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY CLAIMS • LONG-TERM DISABILITY INSURANCE CLAIMS • VETERANS’ DISABILITY BENEFITS • ERISA & EMPLOYEE BENEFIT CLAIMS • PHARMACEUTICAL & MEDICAL DEVICE LITIGATION
About 10 years ago, we added veterans disability to our practice because we saw that veterans who had been denied their benefits needed representation, and we wanted to be there for them. Marilyn Gonzalez is the senior paralegal for our veterans disability department, and she joined our firm when it was brand new. “We had about five clients and no one to research how cases would move forward.That was my role,”Marilyn says. She’s been here as the department grew from five cases to 250. In the beginning, she was handling all of the paralegal duties for veterans disability as well as mass torque; now she works closely with two assistants. “They do so much for me,”Marilyn says of her team. “Amanda is my right-hand person; she always has my back.” Veterans disability has become a foundation of our practice, and people often come to us as their last resort. “These are veterans who are putting all their expectations on us.They have tried to get benefits through so many avenues,”Marilyn describes. “We are dedicated to helping them.”When a case is resolved for the client, it’s a victorious moment for everyone. “It’s very rewarding when you get an amazing outcome,”Marilyn says. “At that point, most people have no hope left. All of a sudden, they have benefits. It’s amazing to give them that news the moment the decision comes through.” Marilyn is no stranger to adversity — it’s what gives her such a compassionate outlook. Before joining Marc Whitehead & Associates, Marilyn worked for
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“I was at a crossroads,”Marilyn says. On top of the news about her employer and friend, Marilyn’s mother was suffering from cancer. Marilyn had been traveling back and forth to Florida to care for and be with her mother, and she wondered if she would find another boss who was as understanding about the situation. She began looking for jobs and soon found herself at a first interview, and then a second, at Marc Whitehead & Associates. Despite the stressful circumstances, Marilyn says, “I felt very peaceful.” She was soon hired as a paralegal at our firm. A few months into the job, Marilyn received more difficult news about her mother’s condition: The doctors were giving her four weeks to live. “Here I was at a brand-new job, and I had no idea what to do.” She turned to her new boss. “I spoke to Marc, and right away, he said, ‘Go to your mom. We’ll make it work.’ He is the most understanding person I’ve ever met,”Marilyn says. She traveled to Florida to be with her mom until she passed. When she returned to work, Marc not only
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Christmas several years ago, Marilyn came in to work to find out he had to shut down the practice due to ailing health.
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