Posts Tagged ‘attorney’

USA Today Editorial: Opposing view: Disability Benefits Remains a Vital Lifeline

Monday, February 6th, 2012

USA Today Editorial: Opposing view: Disability Benefits Remains a Vital Lifeline by Charles Martin

Social Security Disability Insurance remains a vital lifeline for citizens who once held full-time jobs but have become too ill or injured to work. It is a time-honored expression of our nation’s commitment to help care for those who must stop working due to illness or injury.

While any large government program will have problems — and Social Security is no exception — we should work on fixing the problems and not join the current rush to condemn an entire system because of rare instances of abuse or mounting political pressures to cut federal spending.

As an attorney who has spent more than 34 years helping thousands of Social Security applicants, let me be clear that getting disability approval is harder than ever. Undocumented pain, alcoholism and drug abuse have been disqualified. Mental retardation and HIV standards are tougher. Diabetes and obesity are no longer distinct disabilities. Illegal immigrants are now disqualified. Applicants must now present objective medical evidence of disability. This is no rubber-stamp process.

Moreover, it is a misrepresentation to claim that there is a surge in unemployed applicants looking to get on the public dole. Applications have increased due to social, medical and economic mega-trends (such as more insured women and aged workers).

Yes, today’s Social Security Disability Insurance system is huge, complex, costly and certainly imperfect. But it deserves to be improved, not scorned. Claimants’ representatives play an important role by discouraging frivolous applications and assisting those who can prove disability navigate a daunting and often confusing bureaucracy.

The road to restoring Social Security to full health is not to conduct a witch hunt for the rare but inevitable undeserving claimants or deficient judges, but through sensible measures such as giving more help to people with disabilities who want to work, giving employers incentives to hire them, and upgrading the gathering and delivery of medical treatment and information.

Tough times can bring out the best in people. Let’s not let our frustration over a lousy economy cause us to turn on those who are most in need. Let’s improve a system that reflects the true spirit of American compassion.

Charles Martin, a Decatur, Ga.-based attorney, is president of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives.

Attorney Sheri Abrams To Speak To Family Focus Group

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Sheri Abrams will be speaking to the Family Focus Group at the Woodburn Center for Community Mental Health on June 29 at 7:00 PM. She will be speaking on how to receive Social Security Disability Benefits. The Woodburn Center is located at 3340 Woodburn Road, Annandale, Virginia 22003.

Can You Receive Social Security Disability Benefits For Hepatitis C?

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

The Center for Disease Control Estimates that 3.9 million (1.8%) Americans are infected with the Hepatitis C virus (HCV), and of those infected, 2.7 million are chronically infected. Hepatitis C is a blood borne illness that causes liver disease and causes a host of symptoms that can prevent someone from working. Common symptoms of the Hepatitis C virus (HVC) include jaundice, dark urine, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea, and fatigue.

The two approved drugs for treating Hepatitis C are interferon and ribavirin. The current treatment of choice for Hepatitis C is a combination therapy using pegylated interferon and ribavirin. This combination therapy can eliminate the Hepatitis C virus (HVC) in 50% and 80% of patients. However, side effects can be debilitating and include fatigue, arthritis and joint pain, vision problems, and cognitive problems.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) lists Hepatitis C under Digestive System – Chronic Liver Disease, on the list of impairments eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. In addition Social Security must consider the effects of medications used to treat Hepatitis C when making a determination as to Social Security Disability benefits. However, just being diagnosed with Hepatitis C or suffering from side effects from medication does not automatically qualify an infected person for Social Security Disability benefits.

Virginia Attorney Sheri Abrams, of the law firm of Needham Mitnick & Pollack PLC, has effectively assisted numerous clients in pursuing successful Social Security Disability claims related to Hepatitis C.

If you or someone you know suffers from liver disease brought on by Hepatitis C and you cannot work, please contact Attorney Sheri Abrams. She can be reached by phone at (703) 536-7778.

Attorney Sheri Abrams Becomes Certified As A Veterans Benefits Counselor

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Attorney Sheri Abrams is honored to have received accreditation by the Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) to prepare, present and prosecute claims for veterans before the VA.

Accreditation refers to the authority granted by the VA to those attorneys who meet the standards established by the VA. VA’s stated purpose in requiring attorney accreditation is to ensure that claimants for VA benefits receive “qualified assistance in preparing and presenting their claims.”

To receive accreditation, federal law requires an attorney to complete continuing legal education covering, at a minimum, the following topics: VA representation, disability compensation, dependency and indemnity compensation and pension benefits, claim procedures, eligibility requirements, and appeal rights. An attorney must also establish that he or she is of good character and reputation.

The privilege of accreditation carries with it the responsibility to maintain specified standards of conduct and comply with the laws that govern VA representations, as set forth in the United States Code and the Code of Federal Regulations.

According to federal law, attorneys who do not receive VA accreditation are prohibited from assisting claimants in the preparation, presentation and prosecution of VA claims, regardless of whether or not the attorney charges legal fees for those services. Unaccredited attorneys may only provide limited services to veterans, such as providing general information about VA benefits, and may not assist veterans in the preparation, presentation, and prosecution of their claims.

The VA accreditation system is designed to ensure that lawyers who represent VA claimants have a thorough understanding of the VA health and benefit systems, so that they may provide quality assistance in the preparation, presentation and prosecution of those claims.

This accreditation allows Ms. Abrams to provide veterans and their families with advice on complex areas of law concerning long-term care planning, including VA pension benefits and the related issue of Medicaid benefits.

Ms. Abrams is proud to join fellow Needham Mitnick & Pollack Attorney Edward Zetlin in being one of the few attorneys in Virginia accredited by the Department of Veteran Affairs to assist veterans who have served our country obtain the benefits they deserve.

Hot Off the Presses: Sheri Abrams’ Book Is Published! “Don’t Gamble With Your Social Security Disability Benefits—-What Every Virginia Resident Needs to Know to Win a Social Security Disability Case”

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Virginia Attorney Sheri R. Abrams along with Attorney Benjamin W. Glass has published a new guide for anyone filing for Social Security Disability benefits. This comprehensive legal book explains the process of filing for Social Security Disability benefits in easy-to-understand language, describes how an experienced attorney can guide a claimant through the maze of administrative work involved, and answers frequently-asked questions about the process.

The clear organization and down-to-earth approach makes this book a valuable reference tool for a layperson who seeks to understand how and when to apply for Social Security Disability benefits-and when to hire an attorney to help.

Sheri Abrams practices Social Security Disability law in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. Sheri is “of counsel” to the law firm of Needham Mitnick & Pollack. Virginia attorney Benjamin Glass has authored six previous legal books.

This book is available for purchase at and through Word Association Publishers.

You can also download a free copy at

The 2010 Edition of Social Security’s Red Book is Now Available

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

The Red Book serves as a general reference source about the employment-related provisions of the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs. While the Red Book is primarily for educators, advocates, rehabilitation professionals and counselors who serve people with disabilities, it can also serve as a self-help guide for Social Security applicants and beneficiaries. The 2010 Red Book is available in English and Spanish at

For more information about going back to work while receiving Social Security disability benefits please contact Attorney Sheri Abrams at for an Appointment.

BIG NEWS!!! Sheri R. Abrams Joins the Law Firm of Needham Mitnick & Pollack

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

It is my pleasure to announce that starting this January 2010 I will be joining the law firm of Needham Mitnick & Pollack, as “Of Counsel.”

After being a solo practitioner for the last 15 years I did not enter into this position lightly. However, I feel that this relationship with the wonderful people of this firm will be a benefit to both myself and my clients.

At Needham Mitnick & Pollack I will continue practicing Social Security Disability Law and Special Needs Planning as well as some additional areas in the future.

I will be available to see clients at Needham Mitnick & Pollack’s offices in Falls Church as well as my present office in Fairfax.

Needham Mitnick & Pollack is a well established Elder Law, Estate, Disability & Special Needs Planning law firm that can assist clients with Wills, Trusts, Probate, Trust Administration, Powers of Attorney, Advance Medical Directives, Guardianships, Long Term Care Planning, Disability Planning, Medicaid Eligibility, Veterans Benefits and Special Needs Trusts.

For more information on the law firm of Needham Mitnick & Pollack, please click here.

Attorney Sheri Abrams to Speak at Springfield Multiple Sclerosis Support Group

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

Attorney Sheri Abrams will be the speaker at the january 16, 2010 Springfield Multiple Sclerosis Support Group Meeting.

She will speak on the topic of how to receive Social Security Disability benefits.

The support group meets from 10:00 AM to Noon at:

Sunrise Assisted Living
6541 Franconia Road
Springfield, VA 22150

third floor

The woman at the front desk will direct you to the right elevator

All are welcome and this event is free.

“Virginia Disability Law Blog” chosen one of the National Top 100 Legal Blogs

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

Fairfax Virginia Attorney Sheri Abrams’ blog “Virginia Disability Law Blog” has been chosen as one of the National Top 100 Legal Blogs by

What is the Difference Between a Will and a Trust?

Saturday, November 7th, 2009


Most people have heard the terms “will” and “trust,” but not everyone knows the differences between the two. Both are useful estate planning devices that serve different purposes, and both can work together to create a complete estate plan.

One main difference between a will and a trust is that a will goes into effect only after you die, while a trust takes effect as soon as you create it. A will is a document that directs who will receive your property at your death and it appoints a legal representative to carry out your wishes. By contrast, a trust can be used to begin distributing property before death, at death or afterwards. A trust is a legal arrangement through which one person (or an institution, such as a bank or law firm), called a “trustee,” holds legal title to property for another person, called a “beneficiary.” A trust usually has two types of beneficiaries one set that receives income from the trust during their lives and another set that receives whatever is left over after the first set of beneficiaries dies.

A will covers any property that is only in your name when you die. It does not cover property held in joint tenancy or in a trust. A trust, on the other hand, covers only property that has been transferred to the trust. In order for property to be included in a trust, it must be put in the name of the trust.

Another difference between a will and a trust is that a will passes through probate. That means a court oversees the administration of the will and ensures the will is valid and the property gets distributed the way the deceased wanted. A trust passes outside of probate, so a court does not need to oversee the process, which can save time and money. Unlike a will, which becomes part of the public record, a trust can remain private.

Wills and trusts each have their advantages and disadvantages. For example, a will allows you to name a guardian for children and to specify funeral arrangements, while a trust does not. On the other hand, a trust can be used to plan for disability or to provide savings on taxes. Sheri Abrams, Attorney at Law, can tell you how best to use a will and a trust in your estate plan.

Attorney Sheri Abrams to Speak at “Circle of Support” Conference

Monday, October 26th, 2009

The Circle of Support Conference is a conference for families of children with special needs and the professionals who work with them. The conference is sponsored by the ARC of Prince William County.

The conference is taking place on Saturday, November 7, 2009 from 8:30 AM until 3:30 PM.

The conference is taking place at: Hylton High School, 14051 Spriggs Road, Woodbridge, VA 22193.

For info about this conference please see this website:

Ms. Abrams will be speaking on The In’s and Out’s of Qualifying for Social Security Disability & SSI Benefits –

In this workshop, Sheri Abrams will discuss what social security disability and SSI benefits are, who qualifies for them (with emphasis on families of children with special needs), how the application and appeal process work, what to do if denied benefits, and when to hire an attorney and the costs involved. Sheri R. Abrams is an attorney specializing in Social Security Disability law and the preparation of wills, special needs trusts, living wills, financial powers of attorney, and health care powers of attorney. She is a sole practitioner in Fairfax, VA.

Getting Cash From a Life Insurance Policy If You Are Terminally Ill

Monday, October 19th, 2009


Unfortunately, a diagnosis of a terminal illness often comes with many expenses. If you need money to pay for your medical care or comfort, you may be able to use your life insurance policy to get some immediate cash. “Viatical settlements” allow terminally ill individuals to sell their life insurance policies. Alternatively, some insurance companies allow you to receive an accelerated death benefit.

A viatical settlement is similar to a life settlement, but it is designed for individuals that are terminally ill. You sell your policy to a company, which then collects the death benefit when you die. Most companies require that you have owned your policy for at least two years, your beneficiaries sign a release or waiver, you have a life expectancy of anywhere from two to four years (depending on the company), and you allow the company access to your medical records.

A company will usually pay more than the cash surrender value, but less than the death benefit, although the exact price depends on a number of factors. In determining price, companies look at your life expectancy, how long you have had the policy, and the face value of the policy, among other things.

Rather than selling your policy, some insurance companies allow you to collect a portion of your death benefit before you die. This is called an accelerated death benefit. This option may be included as part of your policy or you may have to pay extra for it.

Accelerated death benefits are paid under certain circumstances, usually the onset of a terminal illness, the need for long-term care, or the diagnosis of a specified medical condition. The amount you can receive may be capped and you may be able to receive either a lump sum or monthly payments. Any remaining amount will go to your beneficiaries when you die.

Both viatical settlements and accelerated death benefits could have tax consequences and affect Medicaid planning. Before taking either option, you should consult with attorney Sheri Abrams.

Sheri Abrams Named to 2009 Virginia Legal Elite

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Fairfax Virginia Attorney Sheri Abrams has been selected by her peers as a member of Virginia’s Legal Elite for 2009.

In cooperation with the Virginia Bar Association, Virginia Business magazine asked lawyers throughout the commonwealth to nominate the best in their profession in 15 practice categories.

Ms. Abrams will be listed with the other winners in the December issue of Virginia Business magazine.

Attorney Sheri Abrams, to Host WebChat on Work/Disability/SSDI/Health Insurance for the Lupus Foundation of America

Sunday, October 4th, 2009

7j5c4c9z October 14, 2009 – 3:00 p.m.

The Lupus Foundation of America is proud to present live moderated chats, featuring the nation’s leading experts in lupus. This is your opportunity to ask a question and learn more about lupus from thought leaders in a number of medical disciplines associated with lupus.

The LFA welcomes Ms. Sheri R. Abrams. Ms. Abrams is a Fairfax, Virginia, Attorney dedicated to helping people with Social Security Disability Benefits issues, as well as working with people to prepare Special Needs Trusts, Wills, Living Wills, a Health Care Power of Attorney, or a Financial Power of Attorney.

Ms. Abrams is a solo practitioner in Virginia, whose niche-within-a-niche is in the Special Needs area of estate planning, which requires additional care and experience, to properly understand and meet the needs of the community involved.

Ms. Abrams has received an AV Superior Rating, the highest ranking possible in the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory.

For more information on this webchat please click here.

Attorney, Sheri Abrams, to Give Presentation on Employment and Disability Law for the Tourette Syndrome Association of Greater Washington

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

lawbookSheri Abrams (an attorney specializing in disability law) will be on hand at Fairfax Hospital’s Physician Center on October 4th to discuss employment and disability law as it relates to Tourette Syndrome and associated disorders.

Additional speakers may participate as well.

Time to be Announced.

Address of Fairfax Hospital
3300 Gallows Rd
Falls Church, VA 22042

For more information on this presentation please click here.

Sheri has concentrated her law practice to the areas of Social Security Disability Law MORE...

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