DAVID DOWNARD, FOUNDER
David Downard was born in Springfield, Tennessee. The Disability Program was important to him growing up, because at the age of twelve, he lost his father and was subsequently raised by his grandparents. Social Security Benefits were awarded to the young Downard, which helped with expenses throughout the rest of his childhood. Downard credited a great deal of his success to the benefits he received, which enabled him to worry about school and graduation instead of how he would pay bills.
Mr. Downard went on to attend college, during which time he married and had a son born with a severe disability. Once again, Downard was able to rely on SSI benefits and Medicaid to help his young family through an incredibly difficult time. He continued to work full time and graduate from college with the comfort of knowing over one million dollars in medical bills was covered. The Downards suffered the devastating loss of their son from heart failure in 1991.
It was then that he decided he would work in a career that helped people navigate through the often difficult benefits process. He began his career as a service specialist with the Social Security Administration.
During this time, his grandmother applied for disability benefits, and to his surprise, was denied! At sixty years old, she fought hard for the benefits she deserved, but eventually gave up after continued denials. You can imagine his frustration as he continued to work for the Social Security Administration that he was helpless to make a difference in his grandmother's outcome. He continued to hear stories similar to hers and eventually chose to pursue a law degree so he could help people fight for the disability benefits they deserve. He earned his law degree in 2002.
Mr. Downard spent his career fighting for disabled people to get them the benefits they deserve.