Personal Injury, Social Security Disability, and Workers’ Compensation
Meet Maricela Banuelas Our Social Security Disability Case Manager
As my brother Jeremy said in last month’s newsletter, the good work we do here at The Injury and Disability Law Center would be impossible without our dedicated, hardworking staff. Last month, he introduced you to Isabel, our personal injury case manager and a bright light in our office. This time around, I’m going to keep spreading the appreciation by telling you about our Social Security disability case manager, Maricela Banuelas. As the Social Security disability case manager over the past six years, Mari has ushered hundreds of our Social Security disability cases from beginning to end. She helps our clients fill out their paperwork, makes sure everything is filed on time, and walks them through every step of the grueling appeals process, which can take months or even years. Mari stays actively involved in every single claim, which requires an amazing amount of dedication and energy. Apart from her incredible organizational skills, I think one of Mari’s greatest assets is the pride she takes in caring for our clients. She gives them as much time and attention as she would her own family, and she isn’t afraid to do the difficult parts of the job, like sitting clients down for frank discussions about their health. “Mari has ushered hundreds of our Social Security disability cases from beginning to end.”
If a Social Security disability client isn’t being seen by a doctor, for example, that can dramatically affect their case’s chance of approval. Mari has no problem sitting down with them to explain why it’s important they visit a doctor and what evidence we need to help them through the appeal process. It’s not always easy to have those conversations, but it’s in the client’s best interest, and Mari knows that. She does an incredible job keeping an eye on them, getting updates on how they’re doing, and ensuring they stay on track for success. Mari is a New Mexico native and knew from the time she was in high school that she wanted to study to become a legal assistant. It’s a hectic job, but she says she loves coming to work every day. “I like doing research, and I really like helping people,” Mari says. “They’re in a tough situation already, and I just like to make things easier and smoother for them.” When she’s not in the office, Mari spends as much time as she can with her husband, Gustavo, and their 13-year-old daughter, Yaneli. They’re a tightknit family of three and do almost everything together.
At work, Mari says her coworkers at The Injury and Disability Law Center are almost like a second family. “We all get along,” she says. “We all talk about each other’s families and hang out, and we celebrate each other’s birthdays.” As for her clients, Mari says she wants to make sure they know that no matter how difficult things seem, “We’re here to help.” That’s a sentiment I know our whole office can get behind.
“My entire world circles around them,” she says fondly.
The trio passes their evenings cooking and enjoying time with extended family. Gustavo works in the oil and gas industry, and Yaneli takes dance lessons, so they’re always busy with their jobs and her performances.
-Jo sh Worley
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