Helping others with disability law is personal for Madeline McIntosh, Esq., of the Law Office of Madeline M. McIntosh at the Dallas Galleria. She is passionate about helping others navigate this emotional and complicated issue, as she has been through it herself with her late father and has a unique understanding.
McIntosh wanted to work in disability law because she’s had family members, immediate and otherwise, who have suffered with disabilities, and she wanted to help. McIntosh explained, “I’ve seen people fall through the cracks in the system or be overlooked with their care, and they have a legitimate disability. I wanted to be able to help them.”
“I am writing this in the darkest season of my life,” McIntosh said. “My father, who was disabled, has just passed away this week 9/20/2021 from his disability, which was a neurocognitive disorder. What makes my practice of disability law different is that I have lived the disability out with a family member. I’ve watched it from the onset to the end and how this affects a loved one. You really can never understand what a client is going through, though you can truly try to empathize, until you have direct experience in what a disability does to a person and how they cope with it. All the education in the world of disability law will not help you understand the process.”
McIntosh is a Texas native, who was raised in El Paso and lived in Houston before moving to Dallas. “I had chosen to stay here because my parents had both been in a residential home facility,” she explained. “Now I consider Dallas home. It is a dynamic city and growing exponentially. It is a competitive market as well, but if you roll your sleeves up and put your talent to work, the rewards are definitely there to reap.”
Before becoming an attorney, McIntosh worked as a dental hygienist, then a compliance HIPAA manager, where she worked on compliance with HIPAA regulations and other health-related matters. This led her to a deeper awareness of medical evidence and the privacy requirements required in the Social Security disability case. Throughout her career, she has also been a teacher in Special Education, ESL and Early Childhood through 6th grade; she’s worked with refugees, immigrants, and low-income students; and she’s worked with children with autism, ADHD, ADD, students who were nonverbal, and students confined to a wheelchair. This gave her a deeper understanding of vulnerable communities and their need for a voice.
McIntosh started her solo law practice in family-based immigration and asylum cases, then shifted her practice in 2017 to work for the government as an attorney advisor in disaster claims. This had her ensuring legal sufficiency of all actions and instruments in proving ownership, closing, and disbursing disaster loans. This experience taught her how to carefully review documents, identify problem areas to be addressed, identify evidence still needed, and complete all forms accurately and timely.
The Law Office of Madeline M. McIntosh handles cases that involve Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Social Security Insurance (SSI). “If you have a disability, and you have worked and paid into the Social Security system – that is, if you have job credits – you can file SSDI,” said McIntosh. “On the other hand, SSI is based on age requirements, a disability, and limited income.”
For SSDI, there is a five-step sequential evaluation process, according to McIntosh. In this process, the questions asked include whether the claimant is still working, and it is substantial gainful activity. The SSA will want to know whether the claimant is impaired and is it severe. If there is a severe impairment, does it meet SSA’s adult listings? If the claimant does not meet a listing, would they be able to perform past work? If the claimant cannot perform their past work, what would they be able to do based on the most the claimant can do despite having limitations? To give yourself the best chance at securing benefits, you need the guidance of an attorney who knows the system inside out. That’s where McIntosh comes in, to help people living in the Dallas area, Abilene, Amarillo, Wichita Falls, and Houston.
McIntosh helps clients prepare for applications SSDI and SSI, accesses medical evidence for SSDI and SSI claims, provides appeal preparation, offers representation at hearings, and gives strong advocacy and meaningful advice on SSDI and SSI claims.
Call the Law Office of Madeline M. McIntosh at 469-405-3503 to set up an initial consultation today.