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February 2015 Issue
Proposed Changes May Affect Veterans Administration Benefits
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The Veterans Administration recently released proposed regulations which will directly affect those seeking needs based pension benefit. These changes would establish penalties for transferring assets within a 36-month look back period and a penalty period of up to 10 years for those who dispose of assets to qualify for a VA pension.  Under the proposed regulations the applicant's residence would not be considered an asset.  However if the residence is sold, the sale proceeds would be considered an asset unless the sale proceeds were used to purchase another residence within the same calendar year. There are many other proposed changes relating to medical expenses, income calculations and asset limitations. 


We at NMP are carefully monitoring these proposed changes and will be reporting in future newsletters whether the proposed changes become law. 

Winter and People With Disabilities


This Winter has been difficult for everyone. However, those with disabilities have found it extremely difficult since some disabling conditions limit sensory abilities and the ability to maintain body heat.  If this is the case, consider wearing multiple layers of clothing, including a scarf around your neck, a winter hat, lined boots and two pairs of socks.  Thermal gloves  under mittens will help  keep your hands warm.  If you travel in a wheelchair, wrap a small blanket around your legs, tucking it underneath yourself or around your sides. This will help to maintain body heat.


Wheelchair users may consider purchasing pneumatic tires for better traction. Another alternative is to use standard dirt bicycle tires. Use table salt or clay cat litter to clear ramps - rock salt can poison working assistance animals and also may be slippery.


Remove the tires from your wheelchair and shake debris and ice off them before placing them in your vehicle. Wipe down any metal surfaces (wheelchair tire rims, walkers, etc.) as soon as possible after returning home. This will prevent rusting.


If you are a wheelchair user and unaccustomed to heavy, strenuous wheeling, be very careful when traveling through snow. The added exertion could lead to a heart attack or stroke. Freezing rain also will stick to surfaces such as canes, walkers, forearm cuffs and wheelchairs. Use gripper driving gloves to keep your hands warm and to prevent slipping.


If you use a working assistance dog, remember that dogs also can suffer from hypothermia and frostbite. Get a dog coat to place under the harness, and consider getting boots for the paws. Also, have a blanket in your vehicle for the dog.


Additional Tips for People with Disabilities

  • If you rely on home-delivered meals, always stock nonperishable food at home in case meal deliveries are suspended during an emergency.
  • Have a plan with your doctor that addresses emergency prescription refills, if possible.
  • If you receive dialysis or other medical treatments, find out your provider's emergency plan, including where your back-up site is located.
  • If you rely on medical equipment that requires electric power, contact your medical supply company for information regarding a back-up power source such as a battery.
  • Ask your utility company if the medical equipment qualifies you to be listed as a life-sustaining equipment customer. Dominion Power customers can call 1-888-667-3000, TTY 711 for more information.
  • If you rely on oxygen, talk to your vendor about emergency replacements.

Above all - stay warm.  Spring will be here soon.

Dear Ladies of NMP
Ladies of NMP


Have the limits for IRA and 401K contributions changed in 2015?


Yes, the amount you may contribute to your 401k, 403b or government Thrift Savings Plan has increased from $17,500 to  $18,000, and the catch up amount for those age 50 and older has increased from $5,500 to  $6,000.   This means you can now set aside $24,000 in 2015 rather than $23,000.  However, the IRA contribution limit will remain $5,500 in 2015 with those over age 50 allowed to contribute an additional $1,000.  Remember there are limits on traditional IRA contributions linked to your adjusted gross income. These are slightly higher than in 2014.


Don't forget you have until you file your 2014 income tax return to make a 2014 traditional IRA contribution.

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Source: Reprinted from the Needham Mitnick & Pollack, PLC
February 2015 Newsletter (


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This newsletter is not intended to provide legal advice or to be a substitute for legal advice.  Anyone with specific legal questions should consult a legal advisor of their own choosing. 

IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: To ensure compliance with applicable requirements, please remember that any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this communication (including the attachments) is not intended or written to be used, for the purpose of (a) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (b) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or tax-related matter[s].

Copyright 2015 Needham Mitnick & Pollack, PLC. All Rights Reserved.

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NMP is pleased to be a sponsor of the 4th Annual ReelAbilities Greater DC Film Festival, dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories and artistic expressions of people with different disabilities.

Please join us on April 29th at 6:30 p.m. for Reel Encounters (Motherly, Just As I Remember, A Life With Asperger's, Keep the Change, The Commute) at Temple Rodef Shalom, 2100 Westmoreland Street, Falls Church, VA.

For additional information, please visit:

Speaker or Exhibitor Request

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