Rafel Disability Team
Lucia Pitti: Ms. Pitti began her career in law while clerking for Ms. Rafel in 2002 as a freshman in college.. Ms. Pitti graduated from Montclair State University in 2006 with a BA in Justice Studies and Paralegal Studies. Interested in devoting her career to helping others less fortunate, she approaches each day with an orderly plan to service her assigned clients and leaves each day with a sense of accomplishment that she has helped them. With the firm since its first day, Ms. Pitti takes pride in her personal approach to each client, some she has known for over 10 years and others she has recently met. One of her fondest tasks is when she and Ms. Rafel call a client to tell them their case has been approved, or a denial reversed. “Our clients are so grateful for everything that we do and understand the battles we shoulder on their behalf, You can hear it in their voice. They tell me that finally, someone has taken the time and interest to help them and listen to their situation.”
Eileen Scheid: Ms. Scheid was an accomplished pediatric nurse at St. Barnabas Hospital when she responded to an ad for a Nurse Paralegal with Ms. Rafel in 2004. She knew nothing about the law, and could hardly type, but at the interview Ms. Rafel assured her that her experience in medicine would serve the firm well, and she could easily learn the paralegal skills necessary to the job. Sixteen years later, Ms. Scheid is an integral part of the Rafel team, reviewing medical records, analyzing complex medical claims and helping Ms. Rafel strategize the approach to disabling medical conditions.
Michael Thompson: Mr. Thompson joined the Rafel team after graduating from Ramapo College of New Jersey with a degree in Finance and from Fairleigh Dickenson University with a degree in Paralegal Studies. Many claims for professionals involve filing for disability income benefits when they become unable to perform some of the duties of their practice, but continue to work. These residual/partial disability claims require a keen understanding of a business’s finances. Mike works closely with attorney Rafel to analyze and present claims for business professionals, physicians and dentists. He has helped to establish protocols for the analysis of claims with challenging financial documentation to ease the insurer’s review and obtain swift approval of ongoing claims. He also enjoys collaborating with attorney Rafel on complex claims for attorneys and her corporate clientele.
Melissa Harris: Ms. Harris joined the Rafel firm in 2017 after working as a paralegal in many sectors including mass torts, personal injury and family law. She brought her keen skill in helping people in need to the firm, and quickly assumed her paralegal integral role in handling clients’ claims assigned to her. Her friendly and welcoming attitude has served her well, as her clients feel comfortable sharing their disability information and knowing that she is on top of each claim, providing her personal touch to help them.