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Lauren's Story

woman holding head in hand, meeting with woman wearing suit

Lauren* is a survivor of domestic violence who has suffered for years with extreme PTSD and anxiety disorders, seizures, and other physical impairments. After enduring years of abuse, Lauren’s anxiety is so severe she can rarely leave her home and becomes very nervous about talking with people. 

Two years ago, she applied for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to support herself without having to rely on the people who had abused her. She was denied twice, but then was referred to LAWO to represent her at a hearing. 

Her Legal Aid attorney gathered all her medical records and helped her prepare to testify. Because of her anxiety disorder, Lauren was very nervous about testifying, but things went well and being able to tell her own story to the judge gave her a feeling of empowerment.  At the conclusion of the hearing, the Judge stated that he was going to approve Lauren for SSI benefits. She can now pay her rent and utilities and purchase necessities like laundry soap and shampoo. She is very excited to be able to be so independent.

*This client’s name was changed to protect her privacy. 

About the author

Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc.

Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc.

Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc. (LAWO) is a non-profit regional law firm that provide high quality legal assistance in civil matters to help eligible low-income individuals and groups in western Ohio achieve self reliance, and equal justice and economic opportunity.