I'm Ashley Richards, a small town girl that grew up on a farm about 80 miles north of Spokane Washington. Growing up I learned the value of hard work, and I also learned that God blessed me with an innate ability to problem solve and gave me a passion for helping others.
After becoming a lawyer, I realized my worth was not going to be measured by how much money I made or any accolade I could receive, but by the difference I made in the lives of others. I experienced the most fulfilling moment in my career when a bed ridden catastrophic head injury client that had been unable to speak since his injury, was able to finally tell his wife "I love you." He was able to do this after starting hyperbaric oxygen treatments that had required I advocate on his behalf with the State of Idaho.
I have had the honor of working with traumatic brain injury survivors throughout my career, and they have amazed me with their accomplishments time and time again. Disability, is not a choice, it is not something to be ashamed of and it is not the end.
I know first hand how difficult it is to have a body that is not cooperating, and how devastating it is to be faced with disability. I have an auto-immune condition, and while it's stable at this time, I had to go through doctor after doctor, and conduct my own medical research before I finally demanded to see a rheumatologist who confirmed my diagnosis. The autoimmune condition I have is called Sarcoidosis. It's not a common autoimmune condition, and it had not attacked my lungs as it does with most people. Instead, it had attacked my nervous system and liver. This left me with severe muscle spasms from my nerves over-firing, which also caused me a full body tremor. I referred to my moving as "bee bopping" around the room. It was painful, and also extremely embarrassing, especially when you have to tell people "I don't know what's wrong." In medicine, specialists have their unique areas of practice, but to figure out what specialist you need, can sometimes be difficult. It took me looking at every lab, every diagnostic test, and researching several conditions before understanding the puzzle enough to know I needed to see a rheumatologist.
Before my condition stabilized, like you, I was faced with the possibility that I may need to be on social security disability. All my doctors were telling me I needed to apply for disability. Luckily the firm I worked for at the time allowed me to work from home while I was trying to figure out what was wrong, but I knew it wouldn't last forever. It was at this time that I started researching Social Security Disability and what was required to get benefits. I remember the heavy pit in my stomach as I tried to come to grips with not being able to work. I also learned that because I had a law degree, it would be much more difficult for me to get benefits.
So, why hire me to help you in your time of crisis? Because I understand what you're facing, and I understand how important it is that you get your benefits established. Nearly all my clients tell me, "I'm not like the other people, I would work if I could." Believe me I get it. I know after the application process and months of waiting, when you get a denial of the benefits you paid for, it's down right heart breaking. Don't give up. A denial doesn't mean you're not ever going to get benefits, it means Social Security doesn't have enough information to simply grant benefits, and a lot of people have to go to a hearing before benefits can be granted. That said, having an attorney advocate for you, and make sure your file has all the information available is very important.
Bottom line, I'll do whatever I can to make sure you have every chance of getting benefits granted. I can't promise you'll win. No one can promise you that, and some of the success of your case requires you to work with me and that you keep seeing your doctors. Nothing magical happens just because you hire a lawyer. However, working with a quality attorney can make the difference in getting the benefits you need. So, contact me and we can see how to best prepare your case for success.
So, why hire me to help you in your time of crisis? Because I understand what you're facing, and I understand how important it is that you get your benefits established.