Social Security Disability &
  Special Needs Planning News
 Sheri R. Abrams, Attorney at Law
In This Issue:
What Can a Special Needs Trust Pay for?
Interesting Statistics on the Social Security Disability Program
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Source: Reprinted from the November 2017 Newsletter of Sheri R. Abrams, Attorney at Law,


Issue: # 104

 November 2017

spent much of this week reflecting on the past year and how thankful I am as we approach the holidays.  Here are a few things on my 2017 gratitude list that I wanted to share with you:
  • My son is my world.  He means everything to me.
  • I have great clients.  I work with some of the most wonderful people every day.  It's what keeps me going and makes my work as a lawyer truly meaningful.
  • I get to see my family over Thanksgiving. My dad is 86 years old and just had hip replacement surgery. He's recovering like a champ!

  • Safety and security.  2017 was a year of sadness and loss for so many people.  Thinking back on the natural disasters and other tragic events of the year, I'm so incredibly thankful for simple things like electricity, clean water and my family's health.  

  • My son finished his Eagle Scout project! I am so proud of him.  He collected over 760 pairs of shoes that are being sent to Guatemala.

  • Our practice is making a difference.  It's encouraging to hear from people who tell me how our firm has had such a positive impact on their lives.  It feels good and serves as a confirmation that we are really helping people.

  • I have an excellent professional network.  My colleagues that I work with every day in other fields (legal, finance, accounting) are some of the best and brightest out there.  And, they care about their clients as much as we do.
Finally, I want to thank you.  Thank you for taking the time to read my newsletter every month and for your referrals.
I appreciate you more than you know.
Have a wonderful holiday with your family and loved ones,


What Can a Special Needs Trust Pay for?

Special Needs Trusts are a very specialized estate planning tool and should only be created by attorneys experienced in this area of law.  But, even if the Special Needs Trust was set up properly, there can still be confusion about what it can be used to pay for.

A Special Needs Trust is created to protect eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid and other public benefits programs.  If you have questions or concerns as to how to use a previously drafted Special Needs Trust it is best to consult with an experienced Special Needs Planning attorney, but below you will find a few questions that Trustees should ask themselves before they make payment from a Special Needs Trust.
  1. Is the expenditure permitted by the wording in the Special Needs Trust itself? Is it allowed by Medicaid or Social Security regulations?
  2. Does the expenditure clearly benefit the beneficiary of the Special Needs Trust? Be careful about the expenditures that benefit other family members.
  3. Will the funds used by the expenditure leave enough money in the Special Needs Trust?

  4. Are there other sources of funds available for the expenditure? If public benefits are available to provide the same items, the money should normally not come from the Special Needs Trust.
If you have any doubt about whether to make an  expenditure from the funds of a Special Needs Trust, it is best to consult with a qualified Special Needs Planning attorney, such as Sheri Abrams.  Please  feel free to call our office at (571) 328-5795 to schedule an appointment.

Interesting Statistics on the Social Security Disability Program

The Annual Statistical Report on the Social Security Disability Insurance Program, 2016 was recently released (October 2017).  The report found that:

In 2016, disability benefits were paid to almost 10.2 million people.

New awards to disabled workers (706,448) accounted for 88% of awards to all disabled beneficiaries (799,330), including children and spouses.

In December of 2016, payments to disabled beneficiaries totaled more than $11.3 billion dollars.

Benefits were terminated for 820,372 disabled workers.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments were a source of income for about one out of six disabled beneficiaries.

The average age of a disabled beneficiary was 54.

Men made up 52% of those receiving disability benefits.

The Average monthly Social Security Disability benefit was $1,171.15.

To read the entire report, click 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.