Sirena Denbow is a longtime employee of Maddox & Laffoon, trained to understand the complexities of federal Social Security Disability law and procedures. When life’s challenges require you to understand the intricacies of the social security systems or how to obtain disability it can feel overwhelming. Denbow can help.
Denbow has been working at Maddox & Laffoon for over a decade, helping clients apply for the assistance they need. Denbow began working with Jeanette Laffoon almost 16 years ago as a legal assistant. Laffoon recognized that Denbow had a unique ability to both empathize with clients and get them the results they so desperately need. “Jeanette has been so instrumental in my career,” shares Denbow. “She has helped me to grow and obtain the formalized training that I needed to become a certified representative.”
To become certified by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to represent clients at hearings, a non-attorney representative must have five years’ experience in the field, pass a rigorous five-hour examination, carry malpractice insurance coverage, and be sponsored by an attorney. Laffoon was more than happy to sponsor her long-time team member. “Sirena has gone through rigorous training and testing to be recognized by the Social Security Administration as a representative,” shares Laffoon. “She is a delightful and kind person and our clients adore her.”
Denbow now has her own clients and walks them through the process from the initial meeting to representing them at hearings. “When someone has lost their job or is unable to work, they can feel helpless and afraid for their future,” explains Denbow. “I love being able to help people understand the resources that are available and how to access them.”
The Department of Social and Human Services is the largest of those resources and much of Denbow’s work involves helping clients understand how to access the services and apply for assistance. If a client has experienced a claim denial, it is sometimes the result of not understanding the system, not the merits of the claim itself. That is where a knowledgeable firm like Maddox & Laffoon can really help.
“DSHS is a very valuable resource but we have many local organizations that do a great job helping those that are most vulnerable,” shares Denbow. Among those important resources are groups like SideWalk, an organization whose mission is to end homelessness in Thurston County.
Sirena Denbow graduated from Green River Community College with a degree in sociology. She explains that although sociology and the law seem very different, they both use detective work to understand people. “Sometimes helping people is figuring out all the pieces to put the puzzle together,” shares Denbow. “When all the pieces fit and the client has their life put back together, I know I have done my job.”
Denbow brings a personal element to her work with first hand experience in the Social Security system. Her own child has a very rare genetic disorder called Dravet Syndrome, which affects only one in 15,700 births. As a mother of a special needs child, she has both empathy for others and experience with obtaining the resources families need. “I have become very educated in the areas of childhood disability and epilepsy,” she shares.
Denbow is originally from California and while she doesn’t always enjoy the rain in the Pacific Northwest, she loves working in downtown Olympia. “Being from Los Angeles, I love the hustle and bustle of the downtown area,” she explains. “The energy and diversity of the area makes it a great place to live and work.”
Denbow works hard but has found time to play hard as well. She is a runner who enjoys participating in obstacle races such as Spartan races. These obstacle course races range in distance and difficulty but always involve challenge and usually some mud. Most recently, she has become involved with the local chapter of Ainsley’s Angels. Ainsley’s Angels of America aims to build awareness about America’s special needs community through inclusion in all aspects of life.
For more information on Maddox & Laffoon and how Sirena Denbow, or anyone at the firm, can help you find resources and benefits you are entitled to, visit their website at www.maddox-laffoon.com or call 360-786-8276.