A Firm For You

About Olinsky Law Group

If you need help with a disability claim, Olinsky Law Group brings a dedicated focus to situation just like what you’re going through. Many people don’t understand how hard it is, but we know. An injury, chronic illness or physical disability disrupts your life and threatens your financial stability. Even after working all your life, you can get denied benefits that are crucial to staying financially afloat. We’ll fight to enforce your rights through every stage of the appeals process, all the way up to the United States Supreme Court if needed. Cases like yours have been at the roots of our firm from the very beginning, when Howard Olinsky first started helping Social Security Disability (SSD) claimants. He founded Olinsky Law Group in 1990. Since then, we grew into a regional firm serving many states. Today, Olinsky Law Group is a nationally recognized expert at federal appeals, representing hundreds of Social Security claimants in Federal Court each year. We know what it takes to create a successful disability claim for you, whether it’s for SSD, workers’ compensation, Supplemental Security Income, Americans with Disabilities Act discrimination or Long-Term Disability. Disability Law is all we do. And this focus means you can put unparalleled knowledge to work on your case. Every day we help people like you get the benefits you deserve.

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Meet Our Team

With decades of disability benefits experience that includes SSD, workers’ compensation, SSI, ADA discrimination and long-term disability, our attorneys offer an unparalleled depth of knowledge about what is necessary to create a successful disability benefits claim.

To learn more about our attorneys’ backgrounds, follow the links below.

Howard D. Olinsky, Esq.

Managing Partner

What you’re going through is hard – health problems, financial worries, legal challenges. You want a lawyer who can’t stand to see good people struggle. Ask Attorney Howard Olinsky why he prefers helping people with disability claims over, say, representing insurance companies, and here’s what he’ll say: “That’s not what I went to law school for. I went to law school to help the little people.” At the beginning of his career, he practiced other kinds of law but grew tired of it. Through disability law, he found a way to help real people with real needs. From a young age, Howard has been on a mission to help people with disabilities. He worked five summers at a camp for children and adults with mental and physical disabilities. As an attorney and disability advocate, he provides strong, experienced representation for his clients. And he goes beyond that. He aims to improve how the system itself works for them. Some of his cases have set legal precedents. One case helped define the rules for New York State workers’ compensation claims. Another case clarified the duties of Administrative Law Judges during Social Security Disability hearings. He’s proud to have built a firm that has helped thousands of people during some of the most difficult times in their lives. Contact us to find out more about how Howard and his team can help you. holinsky@windisability.com

Howard D. Olinsky, Esq.

Managing Partner

What you’re going through is hard – health problems, financial worries, legal challenges. You want a lawyer who can’t stand to see good people struggle. Ask Attorney Howard Olinsky why he prefers helping people with disability claims over, say, representing insurance companies, and here’s what he’ll say: “That’s not what I went to law school for. I went to law school to help the little people.” At the beginning of his career, he practiced other kinds of law but grew tired of it. Through disability law, he found a way to help real people with real needs. From a young age, Howard has been on a mission to help people with disabilities. He worked five summers at a camp for children and adults with mental and physical disabilities. As an attorney and disability advocate, he provides strong, experienced representation for his clients. And he goes beyond that. He aims to improve how the system itself works for them. Some of his cases have set legal precedents. One case helped define the rules for New York State workers’ compensation claims. Another case clarified the duties of Administrative Law Judges during Social Security Disability hearings. He’s proud to have built a firm that has helped thousands of people during some of the most difficult times in their lives. Contact us to find out more about how Howard and his team can help you. holinsky@windisability.com

Areas of Practice

Social Security Disability Workers’ Compensation Long-Term Disability Disability Discrimination

Bar Admissions

State Courts:  New York and Georgia U.S. District Courts: Eastern, Northern, Southern and Western District of New York; District of Connecticut; Northern District of Florida; Eastern and Western District of Michigan; Northern, Middle and Southern District of Georgia; Eastern and Western District of Arkansas; Eastern, Northern and Southern District of Texas; Northern District of Illinois; Eastern and Western District of Wisconsin; Western District of Colorado; Court of Veterans Claims Court of Appeals: 2nd Cir. 6th Cir. Federal Cir. and US Supreme Court Additional Courts in conjunction with other attorneys in the firm and by pro hac vice by affiliation with Local Counsel

Education

Syracuse University College of Law Degree: J.D. 1985 SUNY Oswego Degree: B.A., Communication Studies 1981

Professional Associations & Memberships

National Organization for Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR) Sustaining Member Syracuse University, Burton Blatt Institute Board Member, Executive Committee SUNY at Oswego Board Member School of Communications, Media and the Arts Executive Committee Aurora of Central New York Board Member National Organization for Veterans Advocates (NOVA) NDNY & Federal Court Bar Association New York State Injured Workers’ Bar Association Central New York Workers’ Compensation Bar Association Onondaga County Bar Association Oswego County Bar Association Rondaxe Lake Association Officer

Attorneys

Megan Wicklund, Esq.

Megan Wicklund, Esq.

Hearing Department Attorney, Partner

mwicklund@windisability.com
Areas of Practice

Social Security Disability Law

Bar Admissions

New York State, February 21, 2013

Education

Albany Law School of Union University, Albany, New York Degree: J.D., 2012 Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa Degree: B.S. Psychology Minor in Philosophy, 2009

Professional Associations

Capital District Black and Hispanic Bar Association

Past Employment

Albany Law Clinic and Justice Center Law Intern, Interpreter, 2010-2012 US Attorney\\\’s Office for the Northern District NY Law Intern, 2011-2012 Hermosa Law Firm, Austin, Texas Law Intern, 2010 Texas Facilities Commission – Legal Department Austin, Texas Law Intern, 2010

Pro Bono Activities

Interpreter for the Albany Law Clinic and Justice Center

Edward Wicklund, Esq.

Edward Wicklund, Esq.

Federal Court Attorney, Partner

twicklund@windisability.com
Areas of Practice

Social Security Disability Law Federal Court Disability Appeals

Bar Admissions

New York State, 2012

Education

Syracuse University College of Law, Syracuse, New York Degree: J.D., 2011 Law Review: Syracuse Law Review Managing Board – Computer Editor The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio Degree: B.S. Business Administration – Marketing, 2007

Professional Associations

New York State Bar Association

Past Employment

Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. Toledo, Ohio, Law Clerk, 2011-2012

John F. McDonough, Esq.

John F. McDonough, Esq.

Workers' Compensation Attorney, Partner

jmcdonough@windisability.com
Contact

Phone: 315-701-5780 Fax: 315-701-5781

Area of Practice

Workers’ Compensation Law Social Security Law

Bar Admissions

State: New York State, 1984

Professional Associates & Memberships

Onondaga County Bar Association New York State Bar Association Workers’ Compensation Bar Association of Central New York Injured Workers’ Bar Association

Education

University of Toledo Law School, OH Degree: J.D., 1982 State University of New York at Brockport Degree: B.P.S., cum laude, 1977

Suzanne Harris, Esq.

Suzanne Harris, Esq.

Of Counsel

sharris@windisability.com
Biography

For more than 30 years, Suzanne Harris has been helping the disenfranchised with their Social Security issues. Suzanne was a lead attorney in Social Security and other public benefits litigation for nearly 20 years in legal services programs in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Florida. Suzanne formed the law firm in 1995, and Peter Helwig joined the firm in 1999. Suzanne and her staff are committed to providing personal and experienced service to every one of her clients. Harris & Helwig has continuously served clients from its offices at Christina Cove Office Park, 6700 South Florida Avenue, in Lakeland, since 1995

Area of Practice

Social Security Disability Law Administrative Hearing & Adjudication Disability

Bar Admissions

Florida, 1986 Massachusetts, 1977 Connecticut, 1978 U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida, 1986 U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida, 1986 U.S. District Court Northern District of Florida, 1986 U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit, 1986 U.S. Supreme Court, 1990

Education

Northeastern University School of Law, Boston, Massachusetts Degree: J.D., 1976 Denison University, Granville, Ohio Degree: B.S., 1972

Past Employments

Florida Rural Legal Services, Head of Benefits Unit, 1986-1995 Western Mass Legal Services, Attorney, 1967-1985

Mager A. Varnado, Jr., Esq.

Mager A. Varnado, Jr., Esq.

Of Counsel

mvarnado@windisability.com
Biography

The Law Office of Mager A. Varnado Jr., Attorney at Law focuses on meeting your individual needs. Our practice is not just about helping people get money in Social Security disability cases and workers’ compensation cases. It is about helping people make their lives better. Mager Varnado has more than four decades of experience with personal injury, SSD/SSI disability, and workers’ compensation claims in Mississippi and surrounding areas and is a member of both the National Organization of Social Security Claimants Representatives (NOSSCR) and National Association of Disability Representatives (NADR).

Area of Practice

Social Security Disability

Memberships

National Organization of Social Security Claimants Representatives (NOSSCR) National Association of Disability Representatives (NADR)

Melissa A. DelGuerico, Esq.

Melissa A. DelGuerico, Esq.

Federal Court Attorney

mdelguerico@windisability.com
Area of Practice

Social Security Disability Appeals

Bar Admissions

New York State, January 2000
Northern District of New York, August 2018

Education

Syracuse University College of Law, Syracuse, New York, Degree: J.D. 1999
LeMoyne College, Syracuse, New York, Degree: B.S. Political Science, Minor in Sociology, Minor in Information Systems, 1996

Professional Associates

Syracuse University Criminal Law Clinic
Court Appointed Special Advocate
New York State Bar Association
Onondaga County Bar Association
New York State Law Guardian Panel
CNY Family Law Professionals

Past Employment

Syracuse City Court Law Clerk / Domestic Violence Court Referee, Syracuse, New York 2011-2018
Solo Practitioner / Law Guardian, Syracuse, New York 2007-2011
Onondaga County Attorney’s Office, Syracuse, New York 2001-2007
Jefferson County Attorney’s Office, Watertown, New York 1999-2001

Michael R. Eason

Michael R. Eason

Accredited Disability Representative

meason@windisability.com
Areas of Practice

Social Security Disability Law
Licensed Non-Attorney Representative, 2009

Education

SUNY Oneonta, New York

Professional Associates

National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR)

Kristi Fanelli Reppel, Esq.

Kristi Fanelli Reppel, Esq.

Appeals Council/Workers' Compensation Attorney

kreppel@windisability.com
Areas of Practice

Appeal Council
Workers’ Compensation
Social Security Disability Law

Bar Admissions

New York, 2011

Education

Western New England University School of Law, Springfield, MA- J.D., 2010
Siena College, Loudonville, NY- Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, 2007

Past Employment

Attorney at Sheats & Bailey PLLC Brewerton NY
Attorney at Athari & Associates, LLC, Utica NY 2011
Law Clerk at Brodeur McGan P.C., Springfield, MA 2009

Andrew Flemming, Esq.

Andrew Flemming, Esq.

Federal Court Attorney

aflemming@windisability.com
Areas of Practice

Social Security Disability Law
Appellate Law
New York State and New York Municipal Commercial Law
Not-For-Profit Organizations
Corporate Governance

Bar Admissions

Texas, 2017
New York, 2018

Education

Brooklyn Law School, Brooklyn, New York, Juris Doctor, 2016
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, Bachelor of Arts, 2013

Past Employment

Law Office of Elliott S. Martin, Law Clerk, 2015, Contract Attorney, 2016
The Community Development Clinic at Brooklyn Law School, Law Clerk, 2015

Laura Haven

Laura Haven

Accredited Disability Representative

lhaven@windisability.com
Areas of Practice

Social Security Disability Law

Education

Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, TN
Bachelor of Business Administration
Minor: Psychological Disability

Past Employment

Haven Disability, Disability Advocate/Non-Attorney Representative/Consultant, 2004-2017
Social Security Administration Disability Determination, Claims Examiner 1997-2004

Pro Bono

Disability Consultant, Specializing in Terminal Patients, 2004-2018
Disability Consultant/Advocate, Homeless Outbreak, 2004-2015

David M. Hutter, Esq.

David M. Hutter, Esq.

Federal Court Attorney

dhutter@windisability.com
Areas of Practice

Social Security Disability Law

Bar Admissions

New York State, July 18, 2018

Education

Syracuse University College of Law, Syracuse, New York, J.D., 2017
Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, B.A. Psychology, 2012

Professional Associations

Phi Alpha Delta – Professional Law Fraternity

Past Employment

Onondaga County Attorney’s Office, Independent Counsel, 2018
Onondaga District Attorney’s Office, Law Intern, 2015
U.S. Army National Guard, New York Field Artillery Officer, Jan. 2013 – Present
Reserves Federal Mental Health Specialist, Jan. 2008 – Jan. 2013
Ulster-Greene ARC Kingston, NY, Job Coach, Aug. 2012 – Jun. 2014


Matthew R. McGarry, Esq.

Matthew R. McGarry, Esq.

Federal Court Attorney

mmcgarry@windisability.com
Areas of Practice

Federal Court Social Security Disability Appeals

Bar Admissions:

New York State, pending

Education

Syracuse University College of Law, Syracuse, New York, Degree: J.D., 2017
SUNY Potsdam, Potsdam, New York, Degree: B.A. Business Administration

Previous Employment

Burton Blatt Institute, Syracuse University, Law Clerk, Appellate Brief Legal Training Program
Self-employed: Disability Rights Writer

 Mary Kate McGarigal, Esq.

Mary Kate McGarigal, Esq.

Federal Court Attorney

mmcgarigal@windisability.com
Areas of Practice

Social Security Disability Law

Bar Admissions

Texas State, May 14, 2018

Education

Syracuse University College of Law, Syracuse, NY, J.D., 2017
University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, B.A. English – Writing, 2014

Past Employment

United States Small Business Administration, Buffalo, NY, Paralegal, 2017-2018
Haston Law Firm, Houston, TX, Law Intern, 2014

Melissa A. Palmer, Esq.

Melissa A. Palmer, Esq.

Federal Court Attorney

mpalmer@windisability.com
Area of Practice

Federal Court Social Security Disability Appeals

Bar Admissions

New York State, 2013

Education

Syracuse University College of Law, Syracuse, New York, Degree: J.D., 2012
SUNY Buffalo, Amherst, New York, Degree: B.A. History, Minor in Math, 2009

Professional Associates

Northern District of New York Federal Court Bar Association

Past Employment

Research Assistant for Professor Juscelino Colares, Syracuse, New York

Wordy Samson, Esq.

Wordy Samson, Esq.

Hearing Department Attorney

wsamson@windisability.com
Areas of Practice

Contracts Law
Tax Law
Mental Health Law

Bar Admissions

New York

Education

Quinnipiac University School of Law, Tax Concentration, J.D. 2012
Licensed Professional Counselor (Mental Health), State of Connecticut, 2006
Western Michigan University, Masters of Art, Counseling Psychology, 2003
Hampton University, History/ Political Science, 2000

Professional Associations

American Bar Association
New York State Bar Association
Omega Psi Phi, Fraternity INC- Graduate Chapter
Community Research Society

Past Employment

Clinical Therapist for State of Connecticut Department of Corrections, 2007-2018
Legislative Aid for City of Hartford Court of Common Council, 2013-2016
Law Clerk for City of Hartford Office of Corporation Council, 2012-2013
 


Terry Schmidt

Terry Schmidt

Accredited Disability Representative

tschmidt@windisability.com
Areas of Practice

Social Security Disability Law

Education

University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, Double major political science and sociology

Nicole Watts

Nicole Watts

Accredited Disability Representative

nwatts@windisability.com
Areas of Practice

Social Security Disability Law

Education

Berkeley College, New York, NY
Bachelor of Science, Magna Cum Laude, Justice Studies/Criminal Justice, 2013
Recipient of the T.O.P. Scholarship

Professional Education

Accredited Disability Representative, 2018

Professional Associations

The National Society of Leadership and Success

Past Employment

McMahon Law Firm Medicaid Paralegal, 2015
Reagan and Dailey, Attorneys Legal Assistant, 2013 – 2014
Sugarman Law Firm LLP Legal Intern, 2013

Professional Staff

Amy Lee Hogan

Amy Lee Hogan

SUPERVISING PARALEGAL ORLANDO OFFICE

Audrey Lee

Audrey Lee

Office Manager

Shannon Persse

Shannon Persse

Supervisor Federal Court Case Manager

Lorie Ruggiero

Lorie Ruggiero

Supervisor Client Support Center

Vanessa Sena

Vanessa Sena

Accounting Manager-Approved Claims Department

Holly Sorrell-Paolelli

Holly Sorrell-Paolelli

Director of Human Resources