Social Security Disability &
  Special Needs Planning News
 Sheri R. Abrams, Attorney at Law
In This Issue:
If You Are Applying for or are Receiving Social Security Disability Benefits, be careful what you post
We've Taken Steps to Make Our Website More Accessible to Individuals with Special Needs including those with Visual and Cognitive Impairments... Read On!
5 Things You Need to Know When Your Child with Special Needs Turns 18
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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.


Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at George Mason University 

Things You Didn't Know You Didn't Know, Part IV 

Sheri Abrams will be speaking as part of a panel of lawyers and judges to  discuss interesting little known gems of Virginia law. 

Wednesday April 10, 2019,
2:15 PM to 3:40 PM 
At the Fairfax Lord of Life Church---located at 5114 Twinbrook Road, Fairfax, VA 22032
Here's a sample of the practical questions that will be covered:
  • If I get injured in a store while shopping, is the store responsible for my injury? 
  • If I die without a will, what happens?
  • If my spouse dies, can I collect their Social Security benefits?
  • It is a nuisance to keep taking the handicap placard on and off my rear view mirror. Can I just drive with it on? 
  • If I have health insurance, do I need additional medical expense benefits on my car insurance?
You'll be surprised to learn what you didn't know about our laws in Virginia.
For information concerning this presentation, contact the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at George Mason University by calling 703-503-3384 or visiting their website at:

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


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Issue: #120

March 2019

Spring is FINALLY here and I'm looking forward to warmer weather and a new season ahead.
My son has decided on a college, so next month we will be traveling to Longwood University for pre-orientation. I'm excited for this new chapter in his life, but I'm also sad that he'll soon be leaving for school.
If you also have a young adult heading off to college in the fall, be sure to have a Durable Financial Power of Attorney, Health Care Power of Attorney, and stand-alone HIPAA created now so that you can speak to doctors, hospitals, the school, banks or loan administrators on his or her behalf.  
Once a young adult turns 18, mom or dad can no longer call the shots or manage their child's affairs because he or she is a legal adult. So, be sure to have these documents created in advance so that you can legally get involved if necessary. 

If you need help getting started, just hit "reply" and we can schedule a time to meet.
Finally, we added a new feature to our website to increase accessibility and functionality for individuals with disabilities. It's called the "Userway" Plugin and it allows internet users to increase font sizes for better visibility, have text read aloud, and other customizations to make browsing easier based on a person's unique needs. If you have a second, try it out; you can find the button on the top right of our website at For more information on the "Userway" plugin, please see the article below.
Have a great month,
If You Are Applying for or are Receiving Social Security Disability Benefits, be Careful What You Post On Social Media
According to the New York Times the Trump administration has been quietly working on a proposal to use social media, like Facebook and Twitter, to help identify people who claim Social Security Disability benefits without actually being disabled.
If, for example, a person claimed benefits because of a back injury but was shown playing golf in a photograph posted on Facebook, that could be used as evidence that they were not disabled.
For more information click here to read the New York Times Article. 

We've Taken Steps to Make Our Website More Accessible to Individuals with Special Needs including those with Visual and Cognitive Impairments... Read On!
Here at the law firm of Sheri R. Abrams, utilizing cutting edge technology and services to help empower our clients with disabilities and special needs is of utmost importance to us. We want our clients to have access to the resources they need in a way that is easily accessible and without traditional barriers that many people with disabilities face online or in the marketplace.
That's why today we are excited to announce that we have added the "Userway" Plugin to our website. The "Userway" plugin is designed to remove obstacles online, while giving equal access to our website visitors, regardless of their mental, physical, visual or cognitive abilities. We want to make it as easy as possible for those with disabilities to obtain the information and services they need, in a way that makes the most sense to the user.
Our new "Userway" Plugin  , can be found in the upper right-hand corner of our website and blog. It allows for keyboard navigation, cursor enlargement, color contrast, text enlargement, desaturation, link highlighting, legible fonts, as well as the ability to have the page read aloud to you.  All of these features are huge game changers in terms of the user's experience. Best of all, it will remember the settings you chose, so each time you visit our website at it will be ready to go.
Implementing accessibility into our website was one simple way for us to be certain that all visitors to our website have equal access to the same experience. Achieving a more accessible site benefits all users regardless of their disabilities. Not only does the site now accommodate people with various disabilities but it also incorporates a fluid interface for visitors.
We believe that legal services and information should be attainable by whoever seeks them, so by improving our site we are fulfilling our role in leveling the playing field for all. All in all, accessibility is a huge issue that needs to be considered in order to welcome everyone to experience the content you're putting on the internet. We invite you to try our new widget and give us your feedback about your experience.
5 Things You Need to Know When Your Child with Special Needs Turns 18
Without a Guardianship or the proper documents in place, the legal authority to make important decisions on behalf of your child with special needs can be severely limited once he or she becomes a legal adult. Here are 5 things you need to know to prepare for this moment and ultimately safeguard your child's future:
1. Everything Changes Once Your Child Turns 18

Most of the decisions that are made regarding a child's well being are made by a parent up until the age of 18 (the legal age of majority). But, when a child turns 18, he or she becomes legally responsible to make their own decisions. This is true regardless of the individual's maturity, level of ability or disability.
2. Balancing Independence and Protection

Parents often struggle with balancing a child with special need's independence with their own desire to care for them throughout their lives. This is especially so as it pertains to young adults who are high functioning and may be able to work and/or live on their own someday. Parents need to weigh the pros and cons of their legal options, especially if they seek to find a balance between giving their young adult child some independence while preserving their right to stay in control.
3. Power of Attorneys
In very limited situations, if your adult child with special needs is capable of giving informed consent, he or she can sign Powers of Attorney that grants you the authority to make important decisions on his or her behalf. This is generally done in lieu of filing for a Guardianship for a young adult who is high-functioning and capable of maintaining some level of independence and autonomy. In addition, you will also need a HIPAA release that tells doctors that they have the legal right to discuss your child's private medical issues with you after he or she has turned 18.
4. You'll Likely Need to File For a Guardianship
A Guardianship in Virginia is an order granted by the court that declares an adult with special needs to be unable to make decision for themselves.  As such, the court will then appoint a legal guardian (usually mom and dad) who will have the right to make all personal decisions on their now-adult child's behalf. To ensure that there is no lapse in time from when the child becomes a legal adult to when the parent can take over control, parents should start looking into their options for guardianship 6 months before his or her 18th birthday.
5. A Special Needs Trust Can Help Protect Assets
A Special Needs Trust is a legal document that can hold assets for your child's benefit without making him or her ineligible for Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Holding assets in trust this way can help ensure that your child has resources safely set aside for the future, while also appointing a Trustee who can manage the funds for your child if you are unable to do so.
Again, without proper planning, your ability to care for your child with special needs can become much more difficult after they turn 18. It's important to consult with an experienced attorney early on for options regarding special needs planning.  For assistance with this process, we invite you to 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"

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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.