Social Security Disability &
  Special Needs Planning News
 Sheri R. Abrams, Attorney at Law
In This Issue:
Social Security Recipients to Get Biggest Raise in Years!
Planning for Special Needs Children in a Divorce
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Please see our website at:

for more information.
Upcoming Events

P resentation:

Social Security Disability and Special Needs Planning
Tuesday, November 27th
6:00 PM
Cedar Lane School
101 Cedar Lane SW
Vienna, Va.
Sheri R. Abrams, Attorney at Law, will discuss the following:
  • What are Social Security Disability &  SSI benefits?
  • Who Qualifies for Social Security Disability &  SSI benefits (with special emphasis on families of children with special needs)?
  • How does the application and appeal process work?
  • What do we do if you are denied benefits?
  • Do I need to consider applying for Guardianship of my child before they turn 18?
  • What are Special Needs Trusts and how do they work?
Open to the public, please RSVP to Jennifer Min
at 703-208-2420 or
email her at

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Source: Reprinted from the October 2018 Newsletter of Sheri R. Abrams, Attorney at Law,


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Issue: #115

 October 2018

I hope this month's newsletter finds you well and enjoying the fall season.
I'm busy with college visits as my son works to narrow down his choices. Our next tour is at Radford University. If you have any feedback on this school, please feel free to hit "reply" and let me know.
As Halloween approaches, I feel sad that my son is too old to go out now, but I do have fun passing out candy instead. Sometimes I play a game of "one piece of candy for the Trick-or-Treater...and one for me."

Finally, did you know that November is National Caregiver's Month? I know all too well the challenges that caregivers of disabled loved ones face, including a lack of support, financial problems (usually from having to quit or cut back on work), and legal roadblocks that often prevent caregivers from managing their loved one's affairs.
If you happen to be in a caregiver role today, please know that you are not alone and that we are here for you and your family. Simple planning can help solve many of the problems that you face if you have a loved one with special needs or disabilities. Give our office a call and we can set up an appointment to discuss how we can help.

Social Security Recipients to Get Biggest Raise in Years! 

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 2.8% raise in 2019.

The 2.8 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin in January 2019 for the more than 62 million people who receive Social Security Retirement and Disability benefits. The maximum Social Security benefit will increase to $2,861 a month.

Increased payments to the more than 8 million people who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will begin on December 31, 2018. The amount of SSI will increase to $771 a month for a person, $1,157 a month for a couple.

The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the increase in the Consumer Price Index as determined by the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Other important changes in 2019 include:
  • Significant Gainful Activity (SGA) increasing to $1,220 month; and
  • a Trial Work Period (TWP) increasing to $880 a month.

The complete 2019 Social Security Fact Sheet is available here.

Planning for Special Needs Children in a Divorce

Raising a child with special needs is challenging. Sadly, the stress of the situation contributes to the high rate of divorce among couples who are raising children with special needs. In fact, it is estimated that the rate of divorce in these households are between 80% and 90%.
If you are going through a divorce and have a child with special needs, you should consult with a Special Needs Planning attorney who can help you ensure that your child's long-term needs are met. Your lawyer will help you work through the decisions that need to be made --such as who will be responsible for making medical, educational and housing decisions after the divorce. Your attorney can also identify future costs to be certain that those issues are specifically set out in the divorce agreement.
You should also talk to your Special Needs Planning attorney about the effect that a divorce will have on access to government benefits and whether child support payments will reduce the child's eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid. Losing access to these benefits could be detrimental to your child's future, especially since they cover essential services such as physical, occupational and speech therapy.

You should also consider the possibility that your child will need a legal guardianship when he or she turns 18. You should work with your soon-to-be ex-spouse now to plan for future guardianship to avoid a contested court battle later.

In many cases, establishing a Special Needs Trust can greatly enhance the quality of life your child enjoys after the divorce. It is often possible to direct payments from an ex-spouse to a Special Needs Trust that has been set up for your child's benefit.

All divorces are difficult. However, when you are planning for a child who may need lifelong support, it is essential that you plan carefully. Getting a Special Needs Planning attorney involved as early as possible in the divorce process can help ensure that your child is protected long into the future.   If we can help you as you work through the process, please contact 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' Newly Updated Book "Don't Gamble With Your Social Security Disability Benefits"

Picture of Book
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.