Social Security Disability &
  Special Needs Planning News
 Sheri R. Abrams, Attorney at Law
In This Issue:
Social Security News: Normal Hours at Local Social Security Offices Returning on Wednesdays in 2020
Holiday Traveling Tips for People with Special Needs
Can I Appoint Someone to Serve as Co-Guardian Over My Adult Child with Special Needs?
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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 December 2019 Newsletter of Sheri R. Abrams, Attorney at Law, 


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Issue: #129

December 2019

It's hard to believe that the holidays are here already! My son is home from college and we are spending some time with my parents and my sister's family.
As an early gift to myself before leaving town, I went to see the new Star Wars movie. I'm a huge science fiction fan and while this was not my favorite Star Wars movie, it was still fun to see.   Just as an FYI- AMC theatres offer a variety of sensory-friendly movie showings on the second and forth Saturdays of the month. You can view their holiday schedule here.   

From all of us here at the Law Office of Sheri R. Abrams, we hope that you have a safe and enjoyable holiday season, and please feel free to reach out if you have any questions about legal planning for a loved one with special needs as we head into the New Year. 

Social Security News: Normal Hours at Local Social Security Offices Returning on Wednesdays in 2020
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has just announced that full Wednesday service hours will be returning in January 2020.
Starting on January 8th, the public can now visit Social Security offices on Wednesdays between the hours of 9:00 4:00 p.m. This change will take effect at offices nationwide. Previously, local Social Security offices were only open on Wednesdays between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and noon, a policy which has been in place since 2012.
Social Security also announced plans to hire 1,100 new front-line employees to provide service through the SSA's national 800 Number, as well as 100 additional employees to help at processing centers throughout the country. The goal is to increase access to benefits and improve processing times in the new year.
For more information about these changes, click here.

Holiday Traveling Tips for People with Special Needs  
Traveling any time of the year is stressful. But the holidays can present extra challenges for people who travel with someone with special needs, especially when it comes to navigating excessive crowds, full flights, long lines, travel delays, staffing shortages and overbooked hotels.
If you are traveling this year with a loved one who has special needs or a disability that requires extra assistance or care, the following tips can help make your life easier while you are away from home:
  1. Choose your airports carefully:
    Airports have taken great strides to accommodate adults and children with special needs by adding sensory-friendly playrooms, quiet rooms, mobility assistance and more. But these services and accommodations are not guaranteed at every airport, especially in smaller and regional airports that have limited flights each day.  If you know that part of your trip will require significant time in an airport (perhaps for a layover), it's best to choose one where your loved one will be most comfortable---even if it means a slightly longer amount of time to get where you are going.

  2. Plan ahead if you require wheelchair accessible bathrooms:
    In general, the only planes that have wheelchair accessible bathrooms are those with double aisles. Always double check with the airline when booking a flight to ensure that your needs will be accommodated.

  3. Keep any medication in a carry-on bag:
    That way, if your luggage gets lost, you or your loved one will still have access to any necessary medications or treatments.

  4. Pack food if your loved one is a picky eater:
    Whether you are traveling by plane, train or even car and taking breaks at rest stops, food on the road away from home can be limited. If your loved one is particular about what he or she eats, make sure that you have "back up options" in your bag ... just in case.

  5. Research accessible transportation options ahead of time:
    You don't want to arrive in a new city and realize that you don't have a fast and easy way to transport a loved one to your hotel or next destination. Be sure to research in advance car rental options, accessible taxis or accessible ride sharing services through companies like Uber or Lyft.  This is especially important when traveling internationally, as options may be more limited than here in the states.

  6. Breathe:Everyone has a travel story nightmare, and if something goes wrong on your trip, you aren't alone! So, take a deep breath and resolve to enjoy the time with your loved ones. That's what matters most.
Can I Appoint Someone to Serve as Co-Guardian Over My Adult Child with Special Needs?
Choosing to serve as someone's guardian is a huge responsibility. A guardian for an adult with special needs is generally tasked with overseeing that individual's physical well-being, medical care, and housing.
In the majority of cases, it's a parent (or parents) who will apply to become their adult child's legal guardian when he or she turns 18. But many parents ask us if they are able to appoint a "co-guardian," or someone else who can help with their responsibilities and duties. Most commonly, we are asked by parents of individuals with special needs if they can appoint one of their other adult children, a stepparent, a sibling, a grandparent or other relative to serve as co-guardian.
Legally speaking, having a co-guardian is absolutely possible and it's something we often encourage to help lighten the load. However, a parent cannot simply appoint this person him or herself. Instead, the candidate will need to go through a formal legal process with the Virginia courts. During this process, the court will need to verify that the person is indeed capable of serving in this capacity.
When we meet with families to start the process of filing for guardianship for a young adult with special needs, we will typically ask up front if they want someone else to serve in a co-guardian role. In general, it's easier and less expensive to take care of everything all at one time. The bottom line is that every family is different and it's important to work with an attorney who will help you create an individualized plan that can work over the long term.
Free Download of Sheri Abrams' 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.