Social Security Disability &
  Special Needs Planning News
 Sheri R. Abrams, Attorney at Law
In This Issue:
Preparing Older and Disabled Loved Ones for the Coronavirus
Social Security Changes Its Rules Regarding Eligibility for Non-English Speaking Citizens
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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 March 2020 Newsletter of Sheri R. Abrams, Attorney at Law, 


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Issue: #132

March 2020

I'm just back from a short trip. The only problem I had was in the airports.  There was so much walking and very little help.
It's no secret that we still have a very long way to go when it comes to making airports more accessible for those with disabilities or mobility issues. There are some great ideas popping up across the globe, but I'd really like to see more universal action. Here are some initiatives that I'd like to see go mainstream:
  • Self-driving wheelchairs: At the end of 2019, Abu Dhabi airport partnered with a personal electronic supplier to make self-driving wheelchairs available so that travelers with reduced mobility could move around without the assistance of a staff member. This is a huge win in the area of self-autonomy for passengers with disabilities.

  • Virtual reality "airport training"- Boise Airport has partnered with Boise State University to create a virtual reality experience that allows people with autism to "practice" flying and navigating the airport before their trip. Experiences include checking in, walking through security and sitting inside the plane before take-off. This technology has helped those with autism to become familiar with the experience of flying so that they are more comfortable and at ease in the airport.

  • The use of Sunflower Lanyards- Airports across the world, including Heathrow and Seattle-Tacoma Airport, are starting to embrace a "Sunflower Lanyard" program where people with hidden disabilities such as autism, epilepsy and brain disorders are able to discreetly ask for help and identify themselves to staff by simply wearing a special lanyard.
Travel has also become more challenging because of the Coronavirus.  With all that is going on with this illness, I'd like to encourage everyone to keep tabs on their loved ones who are elderly, have health problems or special needs. I have some tips for general preparedness in the article below.
Have a great month,

Preparing Older and Disabled Loved Ones for the Coronavirus  
Here at our firm, we are following the news about the Coronavirus very closely.
While we don't believe that anyone should panic, we do want to encourage anyone with older, special needs or immuno-compromised loved ones to be prepared.
The CDC is encouraging everyone to have extra food and supplies on hand, in the event of sudden closures or quarantines. Please take the time to check on any seniors or people in your life who are ill/disabled to see if they need help getting things together. Key items to gather include:
  • Prescriptions and any over-the-counter medications;
  • Those with breathing problems should ensure that any devices they use (nebulizer, oxygen) are working properly and they have enough medication on hand to power any devices;
  • A two-week supply of food;
  • Drinks with electrolytes in the event of illness;
  • Nutrition drinks such as Ensure;
  • Lysol, disinfecting agents, and anti-bacterial soap (if you can find them in stores);
  • Extra toilet paper (this is something else that has proven difficult to find in stores);
  • Pet food for at least two weeks; and
  • Toiletries, and any other necessary supplies
Finally, it's a wise idea to make copies of your loved one's insurance cards and make sure that you can put your hands on any Powers of Attorney and Advance Directives that would allow you to legally communicate with doctors and make financial and medical decisions on your loved one's behalf.
Please note that our firm plans to remain open as we have confidence in the cleaning being done in our building and offices.  However, we are offering phone appointments for anyone who would rather not come into the office. 

Please contact us if you are interested in this option or if you have any questions or concerns. 
Social Security Changes Its Rules Regarding Eligibility for Non-English Speaking Citizens
On February 25, 2020, Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul announced the agency's reversal of a 1970's era rule that took into account an applicant's ability to communicate in English when awarding Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.

This rule, which has in recent years faced criticism for being outdated and not reflective of the modern work force, previously presumed that a person's inability to speak English likely hindered an applicant from receiving an education or skills necessary to transition into other areas of employment upon the development of a medical condition.

In 2015, the Inspector General of the Social Security Administration asked the agency to review the appropriateness of such a policy, as the inability to speak fluent English no longer reflected a person's level of education or ability to obtain employment in the United States.

The agency agreed that the policy should be changed, and as such, a new regulation called "Removing the Inability to Communicate in English as an Education Category" will replace this previous policy starting on April 27, 2020.

Under the new rule, the issue of language will no longer be a factor when considering one's educational background or ability to take on jobs in other sectors or industries when applying for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits.

For more information on this new rule, click here.

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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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.