After being ditched by another law firm just two months before her disability hearing, Monique had reached her wits’ end. On the verge of giving up, she reached out to Sampson Dunlap LLP – a decision that turned out to be life-changing.
Dealing with a disability is hard enough as it is. Factor in a stressful SSI/SSDI disability claims process that seems designed to destroy claimants’ confidence and self-esteem, and it’s easy to feel on edge and unsure of which way to turn.
That’s the depressing situation that Monique found herself in. The Las Vegas resident was diagnosed with fibromyalgia – a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body, as well as sleep problems, fatigue and, often, emotional and mental distress – at the very young age of 20.
”“Lucinda knew nothing about me but she stepped up and took on my case – despite the trial being only two months away…
To make matters worse, Monique was then struck down with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) – an autoimmune disease which means that your immune system attacks healthy cells in your body by mistake, causing inflammation (painful swelling) in the affected parts of the body.
Compounding her misery, Monique found herself facing the end of her marriage, and the resulting separation led to severe depression – a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest.
“I was in a real dark place..."
“I was in a real dark place,” shares Monique. “I had been forced to move in with family and had twice tried to commit suicide while applying for disability benefits.
“There was another team [prior to Monique connecting with Sampson Dunlap] that was supposed to be helping me. However, out of the blue, they dropped me and so I had a court date but no lawyer.”
By a stroke of luck, Monique’s ex-husband, Greg,
remembered meeting “a fabulous human being” – who happened to be an attorney specializing in Social Security disability cases – at a hair salon in the Seattle area.
Monique recalls: “My ex-husband had met Lucinda at a hair salon and had actually tried to put us in touch at the time because he knew we would get along – we’re both kooky! – but we never managed to meet because I couldn’t seem to open up about my world at the time.
“But when I really needed a lawyer, Lucinda came to mind and Greg connected us, which was just wonderful as I was already in another state, Las Vegas.
“Lucinda knew nothing about me but she stepped up and took on my case – despite the trial being only two months away…
“It’s amazing how Lucinda willingly wanted to help me, even though I was living in another state.”
With no time to waste, the Sampson Dunlap co-founder got to work and requested all the relevant documents, which she scoured over in great depth, “asking any questions that needed to be addressed,” says Monique.
”“I’ve found my happiness again,” Monique beams. “But I am aware that I would have never done so, had it not been for Lucinda’s tough work"
“It’s absolutely astounding how en pointe she was. Lucinda knew who my judge was and had done all her homework.”
As trial day dawned, the Sampson Dunlap disability attorney flew into Las Vegas to meet with Monique in person. On the big day, Monique was accompanied to court by Lucinda – as well as her mother and daughter – to take on one of the toughest judges in Sin City.
“I was so nervous,” remembers Monique. “Everything was on-the-line for me. I can’t work, due to my illnesses, so I desperately needed these disability benefits.
“But Lucinda had absolutely everything in order – including people online and on the phone, vouching for the fact that my physical and mental conditions prevented me from working…
“The judge listened and just three weeks later, he approved my application for disability benefits. It was the quickest turnaround ever! Usually, it takes three months for a decision to be reached. It was a wonderful quick end for what I was going through.”
Since receiving disability benefits, Monique has managed to buy a car – the first time that the former orthodontist assistant has ever owned one – and started driving. In addition, she is able to get on with daily activities, as opposed to feeling down and out and helpless.
“I’ve found my happiness again,” Monique beams. “But I am aware that I would have never done so, had it not been for Lucinda’s tough work – in just two months – to get me my own money.
“Applying for Social Security disability benefits is a horrible, inhumane process. I genuinely don’t know how anyone without support does it. I was absolutely sunk until I found Sampson Dunlap.”
When asked what advice she would offer others in her situation…
When asked what advice she would offer others in her situation, battling to secure much-needed and deserved disability benefits, Monique had this to say: “Don’t delay. Reach out and see what Sampson Dunlap can do for you today. Lucinda hasn’t just changed my life: she’s given me a life.”