At Disability Law Group, we firmly believe in advocating for the rights of all individuals, including those with mental health challenges. This past week, we had the privilege of sponsoring and participating in an extraordinary event called ViewFest. The event’s core mission was to raise awareness for mental health and to unite people in the collective effort to end the stigma surrounding mental health issues and awareness. Held at the Detroit Zoo, ViewFest provided us with an enriching experience, as we learned more about mental health and its impact on individuals and communities. In this blog, we will share our wonderful day at ViewFest and highlight the significance of supporting mental health awareness and breaking down barriers.

Embracing the Cause

At the heart of ViewFest is a profound commitment to mental health awareness. As a disability law firm, we recognize the pressing need to address the challenges faced by individuals with mental health conditions and ensure that their rights are protected. ViewFest offered an exceptional platform to raise our voices, along with many other passionate individuals and organizations, to advocate for a society that embraces mental health with empathy, understanding, and support.

A Day of Education and Entertainment

The Detroit Zoo provided a beautiful and lively setting for the event, creating an atmosphere of unity and joy. Families, friends, and individuals from all walks of life came together to learn, engage, and celebrate mental health awareness. As sponsors, we had the opportunity to set up an information booth, where our team interacted with event-goers, sharing valuable resources about mental health rights, the legal aspects involved, and how our firm can lend a helping hand to those in need.

In addition to our booth, ViewFest featured numerous educational workshops and presentations led by mental health professionals and advocates. Topics ranged from understanding different mental health conditions to promoting positive mental well-being and coping strategies. These sessions empowered attendees with knowledge, tools, and a deeper appreciation for the experiences of those living with mental health challenges.

End the Stigma: Our Collective Responsibility

One of the most critical objectives of ViewFest was to combat the stigma that often surrounds mental health issues. Despite significant progress in mental health advocacy, stigma remains as a large barrier to seeking help and support. As a society, we must eradicate the misconceptions and prejudices that stop individuals from reaching out for assistance and sharing their struggles openly.

At Disability Law Group, we know that breaking down these barriers begins with compassion and understanding. We aim to foster an environment where individuals feel safe and empowered to speak about their mental health experiences without fear of judgment. Through initiatives like ViewFest, we hope to contribute to the growing movement of creating a stigma-free society that embraces mental health as an integral part of overall well-being.

You Are Never Alone

The closing message of ViewFest resonates deeply with our mission as a disability law firm. We want everyone to know that they are never alone in their journey, regardless of the challenges they may face.

Reaching out for help, whether it’s seeking legal assistance, finding mental health support services, or confiding in a friend or family member, is a courageous step towards healing and growth.


ViewFest was an inspiring event that reinforced our commitment to supporting mental health awareness and ending the stigma surrounding mental health. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who participated, organized, and contributed to making the day a resounding success.

We have created an interactive map of Michigan that allows you to see the nearest mental health facility to you! We believe this map is the first step in moving toward a brighter future of ending the stigma and promoting mental health awareness. You can click here to see the Mental Health Map.

Here at Disability Law Group we specialize in getting you approved for the benefits you deserve. Whether that is Social Security Disability or VA benefits, we will work tirelessly to make sure you get approved! Contact us today for your free case review and to get started on the path to recovery.

mental health services

5 Top Michigan-Based Resources and Support Services

The disability process can be long and difficult, but having a team of caring, expert attorneys on your side can make all the difference.  We realize the impact of being unable to work can be devastating for you and your family, and we want to do more to help. For that reason, we’ve compiled the following list of top resources available to residents throughout the state:

1. Programs through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)

MI DHHS has multiple programs with different criteria to qualify. Here are just a few:

  • Cash Assistance Program
  • Food Assistance Program
  • Child Care Assistance
  • Emergency Relief – including burial, energy and weatherization, heat and utilities, home repairs
  • Housing and Homeless Service
  • Health Care

Apply online at:

2. Covid Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA)

  • Who’s Eligible?
    1. Have received a past-due rent or utility notice, notice to quit or a court-ordered summons, complaint, or judgment for unpaid rent after March 13, 2020
    2. Have a gross household income below 80% area median income (AMI), for the area
    3. Have experienced an eligible COVID hardship since March 13, 2020
    4. A state ID (or other government-issued ID) in the tenant’s name (with supporting proof of residency if the address does not match the unit)
    5. A lease agreement in the tenant’s name (if a written lease was completed)

Apply online at

3. Energy Assistance Programs

Help is available if you need energy assistance. Please reach out to the following agencies for more information.

4. Resources for Seniors in Southeast Michigan and Metro Detroit

  • Contact Area Agency on Aging 1-B. They’re available Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at (800)-852-7795 or visit their website,

5. The Salvation Army Assistance

Michigan residents and families can contact the Salvation Army for an array of services and resources, in addition to the energy services listed above. Other services include financial assistance, housing, medical care, veterans support, utility bill help, senior assistance, job training, food pantry, clothing, and emergency assistance, and more. For details and to apply, visit:

mental health counselor

Free Mental Health Counseling

Macomb County will offer free mental health counseling and care throughout the county following recent events that have impacted our communities. Services are open to anyone and are available at no cost. All ages welcome.

Counseling and resources will be provided from 2pm-7pm at the following locations:


Tuesday, Jan. 11th
6555 15 Mile Rd., Sterling Heights, MI 48312

Wednesday, Jan. 12th
43740 Groesbeck Hwy., Clinton Twp., MI 48036

Thursday, Jan. 13th
25401 Harper, St. Clair Shores, MI 48081


Additionally, the Crisis Center is available 24 hours
to help Community Members in crisis.
Call 586-307-9100 to chat with a crisis counselor.


October Case Spotlight

In the early part of 2020, attorney Erika Riggs was contacted by a woman from New Baltimore, Michigan, who had been referred to her as someone known for zealous and compassionate representation. She had previously worked for decades in sedentary type positions for Motor City Stamping and as a purchasing agent for a local plant. However, by about age 50, she began experience increased pain and symptoms making it difficult for her to do the work she loved and took great pride in for the majority of her life. She suffered from heart conditions, palpitations, hypertension, arthritis of her neck and back, fibromyalgia, Barrett’s esophagitis with severe stomach and esophageal pain, as well as anxiety. On top of this, her husband passed away and her children were all grown with busy lives of their own. After exhausting her savings and 401K for nearly 10 years after she stopped working, and now at almost 60 years old, she was told by a friend that there may be programs available to help her; she knew that she could no longer work due to her health problems, but she did not know about programs like Social Security Disability, Disabled Widows Benefits, and Supplemental Security Income.

Attorney Erika Riggs immediately got to work on her case, explaining what programs are available to her, what to expect from the very start, and how to increase her chances of being approved. The team at Disability Law Group prepared and submitted her application for Social Security Disability benefits, and diligently followed-up on the case. Mrs. Riggs believed that her client would be working if she was able, but that her medical conditions have become too severe and debilitating for her. Erika always made herself available via email correspondences, text messages and phone calls to ensure that her client was informed along the way while her office obtained all medical records and supportive documents. Unfortunately, this case presented the additional challenge of proving that her disability began before her work credits expired in December of 2015, nearly 5 years prior to filing the application and reaching out for help.

Many people do not know that there is an expiration date for our work credits, and that the timing of that is controlled by when the individual claiming disability stops working. Generally, you have 5 years from when you stop working full-time, assuming you have enough work credits based on your prior work history, to be eligible for disability benefits. In this case, Erika knew that she would need to work with her client’s doctors to obtain medical source statements detailing her symptoms and limitations beginning in at least 2015. While this was no easy task, especially considering some of these doctors were no longer treating her client or even located in Michigan, she was up for the challenge.

During the video hearing before the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), Erika presented evidence showing that her client was unable to tolerate the Stress Test attempted in 2014, and obtained testimony from her client demonstrating that she felt tired, weak, and short of breath on a daily basis, in addition to the pain and anxiety she struggled with daily since that time. Next, Mrs. Riggs argued that, as a result, her client would be unable to perform the mental demands of her skilled past work she was used to performing for so many years, and that therefore even with a Sedentary RFC since 2015, she would be found disabled under the applicable Medical-Vocational Rules. The ALJ then went right to the Vocational Expert (VE) and agreed that Erika’s client is “disabled” under Social Security’s rules, and awarded her benefits, resulting in tens of thousands of dollars of back-pay owed to her, along with Medicare insurance coverage.

If you or someone you know are suffering from pain or other serious problems that keep you from being able to work and affect your ability to function normally, contact Disability Law Group today for your free consultation. Our attorneys and staff specialize strictly in disability benefits, and we will fight to help you win every benefit you deserve. We pride ourselves on helping disabled individuals receive disability benefits as quickly as possible. Whether you have been denied or if you would like advice from the very start, contact us today and speak with an attorney for a free consultation to understand your rights and get the representation that you deserve.

Disability Law Group: 2020 Holiday Giving Program

Looking back at the trying times and challenges brought on by COVID-19 in 2020, we know that every ounce of support from the community matters.  In Michigan, we have seen growing numbers of those who have suffered and lives lost, from this terrible virus. Our law firm, Disability Law Group, remains committed to our mission to improve the lives of our disabled neighbors by providing the highest quality of service and care – both inside and outside of the courtroom. We promise to do everything we can to help support our people and organizations in our community so that, together, we can make a meaningful impact through improving lives.

This year, we have decided to create a ‘Holiday Impact Program’ (HIP) that will increase our impact to those critical non-profit organizations that provide important services to at-risk populations, benefitting residents of Michigan and, particularly, those with disabilities. We know first-hand how important it is for those suffering with disabilities to have a strong support system and receive the help that they need to improve their lives. HIP allows each and every one of our employees to select a non-profit organization that helps impact and improves the lives of Michigan people in need; our firm will make a monetary donation to every non-profit chosen by our employees. We decided to not limit our donation to one organization, but expand our impact and reach to include every non-profit that is important to every one of us.

We are thrilled with the diverse and robust selection of organizations that our employees and partners chose to direct our donations to through HIP! Our staff and employees chose the following organizations for Disability Law Group to make a donation to this year (and some were selected by more than one employee and partner, allowing for a larger donation):

  1. Covenant House
  2. Autism Alliance of Michigan
  3. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
  4. Pope Francis Center
  5. Adopt A Refugee Program
  6. Michigan Humane society
  7. Ali Forney Center
  8. Angels of Hope
  9. American Cancer Society
  10. Gleaners Food Bank
  11. MCREST – Macomb County Rotating Emergency Shelter Team

Covenant House

Covenant House provides housing and support services to young people in need – currently reaching 74,000 youth every year. Located in Detroit (as well as locations in and around the US), Covenant House has helped transform and save the lives of more than one million homeless, runaway, and trafficked young people over the last 4 decades. Our firm’s partners and staff participated in a virtual ‘Sleep Out’ in support of ending homelessness earlier this year in the beginning of the pandemic. Find out more here –

Autism Alliance of Michigan

Autism Alliance is a non-profit leading the way for collaborative efforts across the state of Michigan that seeks to improve the quality of life for individuals with autism through education, access to comprehensive services, community awareness, inclusion efforts, and coordinated advocacy. With many of our clients having a diagnosis of autism, we hear about the stigma and lack of understanding, as well as resources, for those with the condition. We strike to help promote awareness and support for those with autism. Learn more here –

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

St. Jude is a renowned organization for their national and global efforts in understanding, treating and defeating childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Our clients – some of whom are children – and their families need all the support and help they can get towards understanding and treating their conditions. We are proud to support organizations like St. Jude. To read more –

Pope Francis Center

Located downtown Detroit (in the TCF Center for this winter), the Pope Francis Center helped to serve the homeless and empower the community. In an average day, they welcome nearly 200 guests and provide them with nutritious meals, showers, laundry and access to doctors, dentists, lawyers, and housing providers through their free clinic. We are proud to help support the work that Pope Francis Center does for so many of our neighbors in need, and the comprehensive service and support they provide – it’s no wonder why more than one employee and partner selected this organization for our firm to donate to through HIP. To learn more –

Adopt A Refugee Program

Since 2006, the Adopt A Refugee Program has been successfully working with the countries in need to help with refugees by providing funding, resources and hope. 100% of donations go directly to families in dire need of help and hope. We have clients who have come to the US as a refugee, fearing for their lives in their home country, and we seek to help them obtain disability benefits that they could be entitled to, as well as support critical efforts that protect them. To learn more –

Michigan Humane Society

The Michigan Humane Society is a state leader in the animal welfare community; their organization deploys teams of trained and credentialed investigators and rescue agents on the road in and around Metro-Detroit to help protect and save our animals in need. Their efforts include setting-up and maintaining temporary animal shelters, providing skilled veterinary services, safe transportation of animals, training of field responders, and educational efforts, among others. Service animals are important for the disabled community, and ensuring the safety and welfare of our pets has always been an important effort we support. For more information –

Ali Forney Center

The Ali Forney Center’s mission is to protect LGBTQ youths from the harms of homelessness and empower them with the tools needed to live independently. The Ruth Ellis Center in Highland Park provides shelter and residential safe space as well as support for runaway, homeless, and at-risk LGBTQ youth in Detroit and throughout Southeast Michigan. Other locations, including the Ozone House in Ann Arbor, the Grand Rapids Pride Center, and more throughout the state, help to further their housing and support efforts. The mission and importance of inclusion and community support are important to us. To read more –

Angels of Hope

Angels of Hope provides tailored grant packages to Michigan families in need, including rent, mortgage, car and utility payments – all paid directly to their creditors – in an effort to help them maintain safe shelter and support. This organization is 100% volunteer-based with an active team of committees as well as events and programs aimed to further their mission to help those in need and at-risk of homelessness. We know all too well that, for our clients with disabilities, when they are no longer able to work, they worry about how to pay bills. With health problems, the last thing anyone should have to worry about is how to stay safe and keep warm, and that’s why organizations like Angels of Hope (located in Shelby Township, Michigan), deserve our support. For more information –

American Cancer Society

American Cancer Society’s mission is simple yet critical: to free the world from cancer. All too many of our clients in Michigan suffer from cancer, and the effects of treatment, making it difficult for them to not only work, but to function. Donations help contribute to their research, sharing expert information globally, directly supports patients with cancer, and spreads awareness about prevention. To learn more –

Gleaners Food Bank

Gleaners has served Southwestern Michigan since 1977, and has expanded its reach throughout the state to help the achieve a healthy, hunger-free community by empowering people they serve through education, advocacy, access and community engagement. Gleaners foodbanks continues to serve the community during the pandemic, when times have been especially trying with more people in need than ever before; their efforts to help end hunger in our communities are truly inspirational and worthy of our support and partnership. To read more –

MCREST – Macomb County Rotating Emergency Shelter Team

MCREST, located in Roseville, Michigan, aims to address the growing crisis of family homelessness in Macomb County. With 1,448 children who are homeless (according to 2018-2019 data from the Macomb I.S.D.), and nearly 50% of the statewide homeless population being those with children, MCREST is an instrumental part of ending homeless for Michigan people, and families, in need. In fact, more than 500-600 individuals per year are taken in by MCREST. For more information –

We are proud of each and every one of our staff and partners who thought of, and selected, such wonderful and important organizations that provide critical community services and support to Michigan residents in need. Disability Law Group strives to continue making an impactful difference, improving the lives of our clients, each other and those in our community – not only inside the courtroom through vigorous and compassionate representation, but also outside through our volunteer efforts, community service programs and partnerships, as well as our donations. We hope you will join us as we continue to improve lives and strengthen our communities together.

Disability attorney shaking hands with client

Disability Law Group hosts first Free Legal Aid & Resource Clinic

We had a wonderful time at our first Free Legal Aid & Resource Clinic on Saturday. Thank you to our volunteers who made this event so successful for the community. #EveryClientMatters

This comprehensive clinic provided legal advice on a wide variety of topics. Our attorneys, Mandy Kelly, Erika Riggs, and Randall Mansour provided free legal advice in the areas of Social Security Disability, SSI, and VA disability benefits. Local attorneys were also there to help people with family law issues, PPOs, landlord/tenant matters, and more. SSR Law Office attended the Clinic to provide free legal advice on will-drafting, probate, and other estate planning matters. We had Easter-themed crafts which were provided for children accompanying their parents, guardians, or grandparents.

In addition to the wealth of free legal information available, there were also free health screenings provided by Providence Hospital residents. A number of nonprofit community organizations, such as Michigan Works, the Judson Center, and the EmpowerME Project were also there along with other critical community resources.

Check out our video highlighting the event below!

Follow us to see our upcoming events & please share!

Young Hispanic female volunteer nurse checks a mid adult woman's blood pressure in free medical clinic.

Spring into Action: Free Legal, Health & Community Clinic open to the Public 4/13

Join us on Saturday, April 13th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for a Free Community Resource Clinic and get your legal questions answered and a health screening. On that day, Disability Law Group will host its first Free Legal Aid & Resource Clinic at the Troy Community Center in room 303.

Open to the public, this comprehensive clinic will provide legal advice on a wide variety of topics. Our attorneys, Mandy Kelly, Erika Riggs, and Randall Mansour will be providing free legal advice in the areas of Social Security Disability, SSI, and VA disability benefits. Local attorneys will also be there to help people with family law issues, PPOs, landlord/tenant matters, and more. SSR Law Office will be at the Clinic to provide free legal advice on will-drafting, probate, and other estate planning matters. To make this meeting accessible to everyone, Easter-themed crafts will be provided for children accompanying their parents, guardians, or grandparents.

In addition to the wealth of free legal information available, there will also be free health screenings provided by Providence Hospital residents. A number of nonprofit community organizations, such as Michigan Works, the Judson Center, and the EmpowerME Project will also be there along with other critical community resources.

Are you concerned about not having a will? Worried about what would happen to your loved ones if you became disabled? Do you have another legal issue you have been wanting to address? Explore your options with skilled attorneys available to help during this Clinic in an informal, friendly atmosphere.

For more information please call Disability Law Group at 800-838-1100 or email us at

Attorneys Erica Riggs and Randall Mansour Social Security & Disability presentation and Q&A at Michigan rehabilitation services

Social Security & Disability Presentation and Q&A

Attorneys Randall Mansour & Erika Riggs from Disability Law Group presented to the case workers and clients at Michigan Rehabilitation Services

Attorneys Randall Mansour & Erika Riggs presented to the case workers and clients at Michigan Rehabilitation Services in Clinton Township followed by a Question and Answer series. The topics covered included how to qualify for disability through both the Social Security Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs, common application mistakes, supportive evidence to help your claim, and what to expect for an appeal and hearing. We had a great time meeting the staff who provide critical comprehensive resources to our community in need and their families, as well as the clients who were engaged in the process and asked insightful questions.

Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS), part of the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services, is a remarkable resource for the surrounding population. Created to provide solutions for businesses looking to become more efficient and profitable and for disabled individuals seeking employment, the center’s goal is to establish diverse workforces that benefit both groups.

The importance of MRS is difficult to overstate since the state of Michigan is home to approximately 1.3 million people with disabilities, many with skills and talents Michigan businesses can put to good use. Introducing specialized education and training programs to prepare disabled individuals for employment is a worthwhile enterprise from several points of view. Businesses gain employees who are hard workers, eager to prove their worth; individuals with disabilities gain the self-esteem that comes from becoming a valued member of the workforce. It’s a win-win situation.

MRS also encourages and assists disabled individuals to become self-employed or to start their own businesses, thus enriching the business community while promoting independence and ingenuity in a largely untapped community.

At Disability Law Group, we pride ourselves on giving back to the community in need. We look forward to returning to MRS to help their caseworkers and clients they serve understand the rights and benefit options for our disabled neighbors. If you would like to request that our attorneys come out to an event or speaking engagement, please contact us through our website or by calling us at 800-838-1100.

Attorney randall mansour and community involvement.

Randall Mansour at Zaman

Randall Mansour participates at EmpowerMe Project’s first Power Up! Series providing legal advice to women at Zaman International. The EmpowerME Project is a women-led, nonprofit educational and legal aid organization focused on assisting and empowering marginalized women and domestic violence victims to alleviate the legal barriers that may be hindering their paths to gaining independence.

Zaman International’s mission is to facilitate change and advance the lives of marginalized women and children, by enabling them to meet essential needs common to all humankind. In 2016, Zaman served 25,194 individuals, distributed 90,000 pounds of food, collected 288,000 pounds of clothing, provided job skills and literacy instruction to more than 70 women, and gave 268 winter coats and 895 school supply-filled backpacks to local children. Meanwhile, it partnered with 178 community partners on a range of initiatives and funded overseas relief projects bringing safe water to more than 5,500 people.