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Our Firm

The Garcia Law Firm was founded with the purpose of assisting people of all ages with disability related needs.  We are here to help make the process easier for you.

Melissa L. Garcia, Esq. 

 

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Our Practice Areas

  • Social Security Disability (SSDI/SSI)
    • Adults and Children
  • Workers' Compensation   
  • Estate Planning
  • Special Education Law 
    • IEP/ 504 Plan Meetings
    • Medicaid Denials

Social Security Disability Applications and Appeals

 

Social Security Disability can be a long and drawn out process that can be confusing and frustrating for applicants.  Having an attorney assist you through the process can help relieve some of that stress by providing guidance and support in helping the applicant understand the process. 

 

What are the stages of a Social Security Disability case?

1) Initial application with social security administration

2) request for reconsideration (appeal 1)

3) request for hearing (appeal 2) 

What should I do if my Social Security Disability application is denied?

If your initial application is denied, the next step is to appeal the denial.  Remember, the application process is long and complex.  In order to continue with the current application, you must appeal your denial within 60 days of the date on the denial letter.  If you miss this deadline to appeal, you may be forced to start the process over again.  

If you need assistance completing your application, you may consider contacting an experienced attorney to assist you.

How we can help

Depending where a person is in the application process, we can help file the initial application, file any one of the two appeals, or represent the client at the hearing before the Administrative Law Judge.  During the application and appeal process we assist clients by gathering all important and relevant evidence, communicating with the Social Security Administration, keeping clients aware of what is happening, and preparing the case for the hearing stage. 

Workers' Compensation

 

Workers' Compensation was created to assist employees who have been injured on the job.  If you have been injured on the job, you may be eligible to receive workers' compensation benefits. 

*This page is currently under construction.*

 

Estate Planning

What Can Our Firm Do For You?

Creating a plan for our loved ones and our finances for when we pass away is extremely important to make sure that our loved ones are taken care of in the event of our death. Although it is a difficult topic to discuss, it is important to prepare in advance for this event.  Having a plan in place will make things easier on your loved ones when you have passed away.  

  • Last Will and Testament
  • Living Will/ Advanced Directive
  • Healthcare Power of Attorney
  • Financial Power of Attorney
  • Revocable Living Trust

Last Will and Testament 

A Last Will and Testament is a document that outlines how and to whom you want your assets to be distributed to your loved ones upon your death.  If you have children, this will can also outline who you would like to appoint as guardian of your children once you have passed away.  Without a Last Will and Testament you will have no control over what happens to your assets upon your passing, and instead your assets will be distributed according to the North Carolina Intestate Statute. 

Advanced Directives

In the event that you are in a position where you cannot make your own medical decisions or manage your assets, a living will or advanced directive will allow you to appoint a person of your choosing to help you with these matters.  Every estate plan should include a Living Will in addition to your Last Will and Testament. 

Healthcare Power of Attorney

A Healthcare Power of Attorney allows you to appoint someone to make medical decisions for you in the event that you cannot make medical decisions for yourself.  This person is considered your healthcare agent and will make medical decisions on your behalf based on your wishes. 

Financial Power of Attorney

A Financial Power of Attorney is a legal document that will appoint a specific person and allow that person to take financial actions on your behalf, such as signing checks to pay your bills or selling a piece of real estate. You can make this power of attorney very broad allowing the designated person to have general power to take these financial actions on your behalf, or your can limit the person's power to very specific tasks your want carried out. 

Durable Powers of Attorney

In general, a Power of Attorney will become invalid in the event you become incapacitated.  If your wish is for your Power of Attorney to remain in effect in the event you are incapacitated and cannot make your own decisions, you can make a Power of Attorney Durable by specifying that as your intent. 

Revocable Living Trust

A Living Trust states how the remaining assets not disposed of in your Last Will and Testament, will be distributed after your death.  A Revocable Living Trust is considered revocable because it can be modified or terminated during the life of the person you created the Trust. There are many reasons to create a Trust.  When you die with a will, your beneficiaries will be required to probate your will in probate court, which involves a lot of time and expense.  A Trust will allow you and your family to maintain some level of privacy and avoid probate court for assets that are distributed through your Trust.

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