Social Security Disability &
  Special Needs Planning News
 Sheri R. Abrams, Attorney at Law
In This Issue:
What to Include in a Memorandum of Intent for Your Child with Special Needs
Can Social Security Disability & SSI Benefits Be Garnished?
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Source: Reprinted from the September 2018 Newsletter of Sheri R. Abrams, Attorney at Law,


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Issue: #114

 September 2018

As our nation mourned the passing of Aretha Franklin, the "Queen of Soul," I was absolutely shocked to learn that she died without ANY estate planning documents in place. 

Apparently, her attorney had been after her to create a will and trust during the years that she battled pancreatic cancer, but for one reason or another, she never got around to it.  It's especially sad to hear this considering that her oldest son, Clarence, has special needs.

Sound familiar?

Have you also been putting off the process of creating a plan that will allow you to protect your family (especially your loved ones with special needs) and make life as easy as possible if you were incapacitated, or passed away?

Aretha Franklin's family will now have to deal with expenses and delays to handle her estate. A large chunk of her family's inheritance will probably go to lawyers.  And, her son with disabilities may be in jeopardy of losing the critical benefits that he relies on.

Please don't make the same mistakes. Begin taking the steps necessary to protect your family and loved ones, because tomorrow is not promised.  If I can help you get started, just call my office at (571) 328-5795 to schedule an appointment with me.
I hope that you have a great month,

What to Include in a Memorandum of Intent for Your Child with Special Needs

If you have created a Special Needs Trust for your disabled child you are well on your way to making sure that your child's future is secure. But, you have more work to do. You should create a Memorandum of Intent (this is also known as a Letter of Intent.)
A Memorandum of Intent is a companion document to a Special Needs Trust. This document ensures that your trustee knows your child's abilities, routines, likes and dislikes, and any particular interests they may have. In addition, the memorandum should specify doctors and any other resources that will help your child enjoy the highest level of independence. No one knows your child like you do, so this is your opportunity to document everything you know so the trustee can help your child live his or her best life.

Here are suggestions for what to include in your Memorandum of Intent:
  • Family history
  • Medical history
  • Resources that provide assistance to people with disabilities in your child's local area
  • Housing/Residential care needs
  • Education history and future goals
  • Employment guidance including the type of work your child might enjoy
  • Leisure and recreational activities
  • Social and personal relationships that are important to your child and family
  • Likes and dislikes
  • Daily routine
Again, having a Special Needs Trust in place for your child is a critical step in making sure he or she can maintain a high quality of life. But, don't forget to draw up the Memorandum of Intent so that your trustee understands the more routine aspects of your child's life.   If you are ready to get started, contact call the office at   (571) 328-5795 to schedule an appointment.

Can Social Security Disability & SSI Benefits Be Garnished?

Generally, creditors cannot garnish Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits.

However, there are three main exceptions to this general rule:

First, the IRS can garnish SSDI benefits with or without the debtor's consent; however, the IRS can only receive up to 15 percent of your benefit amount per month.
Second, custodial parents may garnish a disabled, non-custodial parent's SSDI benefits to recover back child support.
Finally, federal agencies which are owed non-tax debt can garnish SSDI benefits.

Under no circumstances can Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits be garnished. That means even the IRS cannot garnish the benefits of a person who receives SSI benefits.

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.