Sheri R. Abrams, Attorney at Law

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Planning for the future of a child with special needs can be overwhelming. There are so many details to consider. Planning ahead to secure their lifestyle and health-related needs requires a lot of time and energy. Even the idea of how much money to leave them is challenging because you could inadvertently put their access to government benefits at risk. It is recommended that you work with a lawyer who fully understands the intricacies of…
A Special Needs Trust (also called a Supplemental Needs Trust) is a legal tool that allows someone of the family’s choosing to be in charge of managing money and making decisions on behalf of a child with disabilities. The Special Needs Trust also helps to ensure there are enough financial resources available to meet the child’s long-term care needs, without jeopardizing eligibility for state or governmental aid. This aspect is key, as benefits such as Social Security…
Social Security (SSA) has suspended work on the following until further notice: Social Security will not start or complete any current medical continuing disability reviews.  If you have a medical continuing disability review pending, please do not request medical information from your doctors at this time.  SSA will follow up with you for any medical evidence once the COVID-19 public health emergency subsides; Where possible, SSA is suspending their processing and collection of overpayments; SSA…
Effective March 17, 2020, All Social Security Offices Are Closed ** Phone & Online Services Remain Available ** All local Social Security offices will be closed to the public for in-person service starting Tuesday, March 17, 2020. However, Social Security will still be able to provide critical services. Secure online services remain available at www.socialsecurity.gov.   Local offices will also continue to provide critical services over the phone. If you need help from Social Security:…
The issue of long-term housing for an adult with special needs is often a source of fear and frustration for many parents. We meet with parents who want the peace of mind of knowing that their child will have a suitable place to live when mom or dad is gone, but the options are often limited and waitlists are long. Because the issue of housing can present a number of challenges, we encourage parents to…
Parents who have children with special needs spend a lot of time thinking about the future. They may wonder, “Who will care for my child when I’m gone someday” or “How will we afford a lifetime of care?”  The answers to these questions can feel so overwhelming that parents may feel “stuck” when it ultimately comes to creating a legal plan. Parents may also have prior assumptions about special needs planning that can cause them…
Is a Disney vacation on your family’s bucket list, but you are worried about visiting the park or other Disney attractions with a child who has special needs? The great news is that Disney offers many inclusive accommodations and special services for families who have loved ones with autism and other cognitive disabilities.  With a little bit of advanced planning, you can chart out a Disney vacation that is as smooth and stress-free as possible.…
Primary season is here and Virginia voters will soon have their chance to select a presidential candidate on March 3, 2020.  Residents with disabilities who wish to participate in the primary election can take advantage of a number of accessibility options to ensure that their voice is heard. Who Can Vote? In Virginia, every adult over 18 can register to vote, regardless of disability status.  Individuals with cognitive impairments or special needs can also vote,…
Yes, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has the right to review a person’s receipt of Social Security Disability benefits at ANY time. SSA can request your medical records to see: if you are still being treating by a doctor; and to check if your medical condition has improved. If you have not been receiving treatment from a doctor or if SSA believes your medical records show improvement they will find that you are no longer…
The Social Security Administration has just announced a new tool to fight against Social Security related scams. Social Security has created an online form, with which scams can be reported. Information gathered through these reports will be used to help investigate frauds and scams. Calls in which scammers convince a person to buy gift cards or mailing cash in response to phony Social Security problems have become the number one form of fraud reported to…