Laura’s Story – Dreams Stolen & Rights Restored
Did you have a dream job – and lifestyle – in mind when you were growing up? Laura did.
Laura Thompson – not her real name but a very real client – did grow up and land her dream job when she became a project manager for a prominent Georgia college. She spent time in the office and out in the field training, researching, policy writing, traveling and giving public speeches. She also earned a generous salary that afforded Laura the personal lifestyle she always imagined.
According to Laura, “I had a very active life. I was exercising, multi-tasking like nobody’s business, serving on public boards, debating healthcare policies, traveling and enjoying an independent life. I dated and hoped to marry and start a family while moving up the career ladder…until.”
Until Lupus began attacking Laura’s body.
Lupus is short for Systemic Lupus Erythematous or SLE. It is a chronic disease that causes Laura’s body’s immune system to attack its own organs and tissues resulting in mental and physical fatigue. It also causes damage to kidneys, skin, joints, lungs, heart and even, the brain. It can be treatable depending upon its severity.
“After my diagnosis, it was hard to juggle my activities and concentrate on any project for more than fifteen minutes. My lack of energy made everything a struggle or impossible, forcing me to limit all my activities and at a young age, I was forced to accept my new limitations that isolated me from friends and associates. My world came crashing in when I lost my dream job, my home, my independence and moved back into my parent’s home. It was devastating,” said Laura.
Laura filed Long-Term Disability (LTD) claims for her employer-provided group insurance company and for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. When both claims were denied, Laura said, “I felt dismissed, disregarded, useless, worthless, and left to die.”
Laura didn’t die. She did the next RIGHT thing. She sought legal help when she was referred to me by the attorney appealing her SSDI claim. I got busy and filed an administrative appeal on Laura’s behalf carefully documenting her medical records and information on Lupus. When they denied our administrative appeal, we filed suit. Even before the judgment came in, the insurance company agreed to pay Laura’s LTD back payments and provide for her future LTD payments along with her Pension Supplemental Benefits.
“I felt heard and understood by Claudeth and her staff. They gave me hope when I was in deep despair. I only wish I would have come to her sooner,” said Laura. With her rights restored, Laura now lives a more financially independent life and remains a contributing member of our community. CASE CLOSED.