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PO Box 5746 Winston Salem, NC 27113-5746
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“Cracks in the System” by Ginny Campbell © 2009
This glass and wood assemblage depicts one person’s journey though a disability appeal process. But the story starts long before that. Able-bodied people do not simply decide one day to become ‘disabled’. Many who are healthy enough to work do not realize this could change. People with health limitations often give up everything else in their lives before they stop working. The journey from health to disability can be a slow, day-by-day process that saps a person’s vitality and robs them of what makes life worth living, including employment.
Then a person applies for disability benefits. Many are denied and don’t file an appeal. Some find the process confusing and give up. As I see it, my job as a claimant’s Representative is to explain the process, provide reassurance, encourage people to keep going, and to try to obtain benefits for them. My job is to convey the medical, vocational and legal aspects of a claim while also communicating the human aspect: the story of a person’s journey from health to disability.
The person applying for benefits is depicted by a single crack in the clear glass that overlays the colored glass. This conveys the long winding path a person takes as they move through the appeal process. The vulnerability of the individual is meant to be viewed in contrast to the organized cohesion of the colored glass disability ‘system’.
The rest of the piece depicts a bureaucratic system. Rules for claims are called a ‘framework for decision-making’, so I used a window frame. Glass is used because it is weighty, fragile and unyielding, like the disability process. I used colored, textured glass to symbolize the unique aspects of each case. No two cases have ever been the same.
But client stories aren’t the only ones I’ve listened to. The small colored shards reflect those who work within the system - decision makers, support staff and claimant’s representatives. The central shards are hemmed in by dense, outer blocks. Their movements seem random- not synchronous. The glass is broken, as the system can sometimes seem. As light moves through the piece it constantly changes. Workers also change, as the system itself continues to adapt and change.
The piece is interactive. When sunlight streams through it, color washes over you if you stand close. So do I share each person’s life journey during the months I help them with a disability claim. Their stories, pain, humanity and transcendence wash over me and color my perspective and my own life. And I thank them for it.
Artwork and content copyright protected. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced without permission of the artist.
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At Campbell Disability Center, we understand that needing to apply for Social Security disability benefits means you are standing at a major crossroad in life. It is not a decision to be made lightly. Acknowledging that you can no longer work is difficult. Hiring a representative to help you with your disability claim is an important decision, and you should choose carefully. Ms Campbell works directly with her clients. You’ll always talk to her, not an assistant. She returns phone calls promptly and answers your questions completely. She spends time explaining what you need to know about your claim. She knows your disability claim is important, and treats it that way. She offers one day turn-around time on filing most appeals. If your appeal will take longer, she’ll tell you first the reason why. There’s no fee unless you win your claim. The fee is set and controlled by Social Security. There are no up-front costs. Any costs are kept to a minimum and discussed with you beforehand. There is no charge to discuss your case with Ms Campbell, and you don’t have to travel to an office just to sign paperwork. Call her to see if she might be the right professional claimant’s representative for you.
Virginia B Campbell is a professional non-attorney Claimant’s Representative who’s helped people with Social Security disability appeals for over twenty-five years. She passed Social Security’s examination for non-attorneys with a near-perfect score. She’s passed a criminal background check, meets continuing education requirements, and remains in good standing with the Social Security Administration as a non-attorney Representative.
"Qualified, Tested, and Working for You"
Ms Campbell is an Accredited Disability Representative of the National Association of Disability Representatives (ADR). She is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in North Carolina. She’s a Board-Certified Art Therapist of the American Art Therapy Association (ATR-BC). She worked as a mental health therapist for ten years, and also worked in the Vocational Rehabilitation field. She serves on the Forsyth County Community Resource Connections Council FC-CRC. Campbell Disability Center is a Community Partner of The Adaptables, Center for Independent Living.
“Our son was denied when he applied for disability. We talked to lawyers who wouldn’t take his case because of his age and they believed the case wouldn’t be easy to win. Ms. Campbell was very helpful in showing us how to navigate the system. I don’t think we would have won his case if it hadn’t been for her guidance through the entire process.”
—Rodney, Donna and Corbin Fleshman, Pilot Mountain, NC
“The work Ms Campbell does is so valuable. I find the disability system complicated and beyond the average person's comprehension. To have her help you is wonderful.”
—Sarah Potter, Winston Salem, NC
“I can't thank Ms Campbell enough for the service she provided my son. She is not just completely qualified and professional—the obvious care in her attitude is more than comforting. I will always remember her as the angel who was willing to advocate for my son.”
—Mary Lyle, King, NC
“Words cannot express how grateful I am to have had Ms Campbell working on my case. Applying for Social Security disability was an extremely overwhelming process, but Ms. Campbell was there for me every step of the way. She answered all my questions with patience and returned my calls promptly. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!”
—Denise Shaw, Winston-Salem, NC
“Applying for Social Security disability benefits is an overwhelming task. For years my daughter tried to get benefits, not knowing there were advocates who’d come along side her on this journey. When we spoke to Ms Campbell she listened and told us what to expect. Although she has multiple cases she’s working on simultaneously, when she talks with you, you are the only case she has at that moment.”
—Catherine and Charlotte Symes, Mt Airy, NC