The Disability Champions’ Founder, Michael Reese
My name is Michael Reese. I founded The Disability Champions to create a social security disability firm that combines skilled, experienced advocacy with compassionate, considerate service.
My legal career began over 20 years ago as an Assistant State Attorney, prosecuting criminals in all manners of offenses from petty crimes through capital homicides. Eventually reaching the position of supervising prosecution of white collar crime and elderly exploitation crimes, I relished the opportunity to obtain justice for the helpless and the defenseless in the community.
I proceeded to hone my advocacy skills through the next decade, representing individuals in numerous areas of law and an expanding list of venues.
As a partner in a large firm focused on representation of individuals, I then took over the Social Security Disability department and saw firsthand that, from coast-to-coast of our great country, the disabled were the most underrepresented and vulnerable citizens, struggling to secure the benefits that they had spent their working lives earning, only to encounter a system that was so complex, so difficult to navigate that they had little hope of securing their benefits, even when the evidence was strongly supporting their claims. I set out to put the most experienced, skilled advocates on their cases, matching and surpassing whatever the Government could do to deny their claims.
The plan was successful. Awards of benefits increased. The Government, when faced with strategic, organized case presentation no longer had a defenseless applicant in front of them. Claims were approved and benefits that would have otherwise been denied were approved.
The Disability Champions was born out of a desire to take that model beyond just locality or region and assist claimants nationwide.
Today, thousands of clients later, I am proud to say that we represent claimants in every state across this great nation. Our process for developing and preparing our client’s cases affords them the greatest chance at success in an extraordinarily difficult process.
We employ procedures that go beyond what many representatives provide to ensure that everything possible has been done to bring about a successful outcome.
Every case, every client is personal to us at The Disability Associates. We will be prepared. We will have the best personnel, and we will not stop until justice has been done.
The Disability Champions’ Partner, Nanette Cruz
My name is Nanette Cruz and I was born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. I attended the University of Central Florida and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies. A few years after graduating from UCF, I worked as a litigation paralegal in Personal Injury prior to attending law school.
I attended Florida A&M University College of Law and graduated cum laude with a Juris Doctorate. While a student at FAMU, I was involved with the Student Bar Association, the Hispanic American Law Student Association and was inducted to FAMU’s Law Review. I was awarded the Dean’s Top Performer Scholarship and was on the Dean’s List.
After graduating from law school and admission to the Florida Bar, I began practicing several areas of law including, Social Security Disability Claims and Federal Appeals. Today I continue my efforts by representing individuals who need disability benefits. I have served as a Guardian ad Litem for the Orange County Legal Aid Society representing children in need and as an attorney advisor for Orange County Teen Court.
In addition to practicing law, I have been very active in the community and church. I served as a board member at Orlando Junior Academy for 8 years, the Executive Committee and the Association Board of Trustees for the Florida Conference of Seventh Day Adventists for 4 years. I am currently the Kindergarten Director at Florida Hospital Seventh Day Adventist Church, a role I have maintained since 2008 and I also serve as a board member to the Constitution & Bylaws Committee of the Florida Conference of Seventh Day Adventists since 2016.
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Our mission is to help individuals receive the disability benefits they are entitled to.