Sheri R. Abrams, Attorney at Law

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The Fairfax Virginia Social Security office, which used to be located at 11212 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, Virginia, has relocated to a new location.  The new office address is 10800 Parkridge Blvd, Suite 100, Reston, Virginia. Under normal operation, Social Security offices are open to in-person visits weekdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Social Security has yet to announce when local offices will reopen for walk-in service.  In-person visits…
Over the past year, we’ve all been confronted with our fair share of emergencies and natural disasters. In what felt like an instant last spring, life shut down due to the coronavirus. People on the west coast were displaced by some of the worst wildfires in our nation’s history. This was the first year that we ran out of English names for hurricanes and actually had a storm from the Greek alphabet hit our shores.…
Parents often create Special Needs Trusts with lifetime care needs in mind. The resources put into the Trust are meant to last years, and in a lot of cases decades.  While parents do their best to plan for situations that may occur in the future, there will likely come a time when provisions in the Special Needs Trust need to be updated or changed altogether. The good news is that a Special Needs Trust is…
The Social Security Administration has just announced that those who receive Social Security Retirement, Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will be getting a 1.3 % benefit increase in 2021. The 1.3% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to Social Security Retirement and Disability beneficiaries in January 2021.  Increased payments to SSI beneficiaries will start on December 31, 2020. Social Security and SSI beneficiaries are normally notified by mail starting in…
The COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for everyone, especially for children with learning disabilities and special needs. We know that many local children are struggling with school in an “online” format, while extra-curricular activities and support groups that kids may look forward to remain on hold. Your child may be feeling isolated or frustrated with learning due to these issues that are beyond anyone’s control. As a parent, you may also be worried that your…
I have been receiving a lot of inquiries recently asking me if the Courts are having Guardianship hearings during this pandemic. The answer is yes, with some changes to their regular procedures as indicated below. A Guardianship is appropriate if an adult, 18 years of age or older, is unable to make decisions for himself or herself as it relates to his or her basic health, care and safety needs without the assistance or protection of…
The pandemic has caused unemployment rates to skyrocket.  Millions of people have applied or are attempting to apply for unemployment insurance.  Many are concerned on how this will impact their Social Security benefits. Social Security Retirement: Unemployment benefits are not counted as wages under the Social Security annual earnings test, so they won’t affect your Social Security retirement benefits. Some states used to reduce an unemployment benefit if you collected Social Security, but that is…
I have been asked: “Can I use an online template or do-it-yourself service to create my child’s Special Needs Trust?” A Special Needs Trust is a very complex legal tool that rarely works as a “one-size-fits-all” solution.  I’d venture to say that the majority of online templates or DIY software programs that create Special Needs Trusts are not sufficient for most families and would cause many unintended consequences. A DIY program can’t understand the complexities of your…
Sometimes, people who receive Social Security Benefits are not able to handle their own funds. In those cases, the Social Security Administration (SSA) appoints a family member, friend, or another individual or organization to handle their Social Security benefits. Responsibilities of a Representative Payee: Some of the duties of a Representative Payee include: Determining the beneficiary’s total needs and using the Social Security benefits received in the best interests of the beneficiary; Maintaining a continuing…
In Virginia, approximately 15% of Medicare beneficiaries who are disabled or have qualifying chronic conditions are under the age 65.  Until recently, Medicare beneficiaries in Virginia who were under age 65 were not eligible to purchase Medicare supplement policies, which effectively limited the care (and the affordability of care) the individual could receive. Fortunately, a new law was recently passed in Virginia that will now allow those who would otherwise qualify for Medicare benefits to…