Social Security Disability &
  Special Needs Planning News
 Sheri R. Abrams, Attorney at Law
In This Issue:
How Does Transfers of Resources Affect Eligibility for SSI Benefits?
Inviting Others to Contribute to Your Child's Special Needs Trust
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Sheri R. Abrams 
Attorney at Law

10467 White Granite Drive
Suite 306
Oakton, VA 22124

(571) 328-5795
Please see our website at:

for more information.

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Source: Reprinted from the July 2019 Newsletter of Sheri R. Abrams, Attorney at Law, 


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Issue: #124

July 2019

I hope this month's newsletter finds you well and enjoying the summer!

It is hard to believe how fast this year is flying by.  The stores already have winter clothing and holiday decor out and I have not finished dorm room shopping for my son, let alone the holidays.
The fact that life goes by so fast and that things can change in an instant is exactly why parents should never wait to put legal plans in place to protect their family, especially if they have a child with special needs.
None of us have a crystal ball and it's our job to make sure that our kids are as prepared as possible for the future, especially if something happens to mom or dad. That is why I send you this newsletter each month, I want you to have the tools, information and resources you need to make the best decisions for your family.
I promise you that there is no greater peace of mind than knowing that if trouble strikes your family will be prepared to handle it.  If you'd like this confidence for yourself and your loved ones, schedule an appointment to come in and meet with me. We'll discuss your situation, I'll answer all of your questions and together we'll help you map out a plan for a secure and empowered future. Just hit "reply" or call the office so that we can get you on my calendar.
Have a great month,

How Does Transfers of Resources Affect Eligibility for SSI Benefits?
I just met with a client who was unaware that transfers of resources can affect eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).  So here are the rules:

If a person applying for SSI benefits gives away property or sells property for less than fair market value there is a presumption that the transfer was made for the purpose of making the person eligible for SSI benefits. 

How long a person is ineligible for SSI depends on the value of the resource transferred and when.
Look-back period:
On all transfers, there is a 3-year look-back period. This is 3 years before the date the application for SSI is filed. If a person is already receiving SSI benefits, the 3-year look-back period starts with the date the resources were transferred.
How is the penalty period determined?
To determine how long the penalty period is, you divide the total value of the transferred resources by the monthly SSI benefit amount.

The monthly SSI amount in 2019 is $771 per month for an individual.
The resulting amount, rounded to the nearest whole number, is the number of months of ineligibility for SSI benefits.
The period of ineligibility begins on the first day of the month following the month the transfer(s) were made.
The period of ineligibility can last up to a maximum of 36 months. It cannot exceed 36 months.
For more information see Program Operations Manual System (POMS) SI 01150.110:

Inviting Others to Contribute to Your Child's Special Needs Trust
Many parents worry about how they will fund a lifetime of care for their child with special needs. This is especially concerning if the parents are fearful that there will not be enough money left for housing, caregivers and basic life necessities when mom or dad pass away.
When I meet with parents of children and adults with disabilities, one of the first legal tools that we discuss is a Third Party Special Needs Trust. A Third Party Special Needs Trust is a specialized type of trust that allows the beneficiary to utilize the assets and funds in the trust while still maintaining eligibility for public benefits like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid.
Parents are, of course, able to leave their assets to the Third Party Special Needs Trust when they pass away. The trust can also be listed as a beneficiary for retirement benefits and life insurance policies. However, one overlooked benefit of having a Third Party Special Needs Trust in place is that the trust can be a recipient of gifts from people other than the parents. Friends, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and other relatives can also contribute to the trust during their lifetimes or even include the trust as a beneficiary of their own assets when they pass away.
Generally, a "Stand-alone" Third Party Special Needs Trust should be created to achieve such goals.  A Stand-alone Third Party Special Needs Trust is established while the benefactor is alive and is not funded with the beneficiary's own assets.  This helps to ensure that others who wish to contribute to your child's care can do so throughout his or her lifetime, while also providing benefits after your child's death, such as guaranteeing that any remaining assets can go to charity or other loved ones without having to be paid back to Medicaid.
I cannot stress enough that the type of trust you set up for your child with disabilities matters and that it can have a tremendous effect on how parents are able to plan ahead and provide for their child's future. Of course, before allowing friends or relatives to contribute financially to your child's care, you should consult with a special needs planning attorney who can make sure that you have the appropriate trust set up to receive these gifts. If you need assistance, simply call our office  to schedule an appointment.

Free Download of Sheri Abrams' New Special Needs Planning Guide!

Special Needs Planning is critical to ensure that parents can access key benefits and resources that will be necessary to ensure a smooth transition for their child into adulthood. 

You can download a free copy:  here

Free Download of Sheri Abrams' Book "Don't Gamble With Your Social Security Disability Benefits"

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You can download a free copy: 

For more information please click  here  to read our Press Release.     

Our Office Location

The law firm of Sheri R. Abrams, Attorney at Law is located at: 

service source building


10467 White Granite Drive
Suite 306
Oakton, VA 22124
(571) 328-5795


This is in the "ServiceSource" building and there is plenty of free and accessible parking.

Our office is also accessible by public transportation.


If you know of someone who could use our legal services, please forward to him/her this e-mail newsletter or give him/her our telephone number: (571) 328-5795.


We provide legal services in the areas of Social Security Disability Law, Special Needs Planning, Elder Law, Estate Planning, Special Needs Trusts, Wills and Trusts, Powers of Attorney, Advance Medical Directives (Living Wills), Guardianship, Conservatorship, Disability Planning and Student Loan Discharge. 
If you, or someone you know, is involved with an educational event or support group that would benefit from a presentation on any of the areas of law for which we provide legal services, please call us at (571) 328-5795.