Social Security Disability &
  Special Needs Planning News from
 Sheri R. Abrams, Attorney at Law,
 Partner at Needham Mitnick & Pollack, PLC

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NMP Newsletter


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In This Issue
Who Qualifies for Social Security Survivor Benefits?
Disability Rights Rule Changes Sports In Schools
Virginia Caregivers Can Apply for $400 to Cover the Cost of Respite Care. Deadline: 7/31

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We invite you to reprint our articles in order to bring helpful information to your readers, with the following guidelines:

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Source: Reprinted from the February 2013 newsletter of Sheri R. Abrams, Attorney at Law, Needham Mitnick & Pollack, PLC 



Issue: # 55February 2013
Picture of Social Security Card and Dice




Welcome to our newsletter.


You may have been added to our e-mail newsletter mailing list if you have been in contact with Sheri R. Abrams, Attorney at Law or the Law Firm of Needham Mitnick & Pollack, plc.


These monthly newsletters are designed to show you how not to gamble with your or your patients/clients Social Security Disability and/or SSI benefits.  We also provide you with information on Special Needs Planning.


You may unsubscribe by clicking on the link at the end of this e-mail.


Who Qualifies for Social Security Survivor Benefits?

 Social Security Logo

A survivor, the spouse or child, of a worker who dies may be eligible for social security survivor benefits.
There are several requirements, including the person who passed away had to have worked long enough and paid into Social Security. 
Eligible individuals had to work for at least 10 years while putting in to Social Security, but this can depend on the person's age at the time of death.

The following individuals may qualify for Social Security survivor benefits:

A widow or widower can receive full benefits at full retirement age or reduced benefits as early as age 60;

A disabled widow or widower can receive benefits as early as age 50. The disabled individual must meet Social Security's definition of disability for adults and the disability must have started within seven years of the spouse's death;

A widow or widower at any age can receive benefits if they take care of the deceased worker's child who is under the age of 16 or disabled, and receiving Social Security benefits;
Unmarried children under 18 may receive benefits.  In some cases grandchildren, adopted or stepchildren may qualify under this rule;

Children at any age who were disabled before the age of 22 and remain disabled;

Dependent parents at age 62 years of age or older; and

Divorced spouses may qualify for survivor benefits if the marriage lasted 10 years or longer, and if the survivor is age 60 or older.  Disabled but divorced spouses may qualify under this 10 years rule beginning at age 50.

Disability Rights Rule Changes Sports In Schools



In a sweeping move that will affect all American schools, the Obama administration has told school districts they must offer students with disabilities the same sports opportunities as other students.


Schools must now include disabled students in existing athletic programs or provide them with equal alternatives.


The move comes just after the 40th anniversary of Title IX, the landmark law that required schools and colleges to offer equal athletic opportunities to women. Unlike Title IX, however, the Education Department's latest "guidance" to school districts isn't technically a new law. Rather, it's a new interpretation of the existing Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prevents discrimination against disabled students.


While the new "guidance" does not require that disabled students be allowed entry into any sports program they choose, it does require schools to make adjustments to how they run their athletic teams. For example, school track teams must use a "visual cue" alongside a starter pistol so children with hearing impairments can run and not be at a disadvantage.


The Education Department has given no firm timetable for when school districts must comply with the "guidance."  It's also unclear whether federal funding will be provided to states and schools, or whether they'll be required to fund additional programs or modify existing ones with their own money.


Virginia Caregivers Can Apply for $400 to Cover the Cost of Respite Care. Deadline: 7/31 

 DARS Logo

The Virginia Lifespan Respite Voucher Program is funded through a federal grant awarded to the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) from the federal Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Aging --Office of Home and Community Based Services.


The Virginia Lifespan Respite Voucher Program provides reimbursement vouchers to home-based caregivers for the cost of temporary, short-term respite care provided to individuals of any age with a disability or special need (children and adults, including elderly persons).


Individuals eligible to apply for voucher funding through the Virginia Lifespan Respite Voucher Program include Virginia caregivers of children or adults who reside in the same household as the person receiving care. Voucher funding is limited to a total of $400 per family. All funds must be expended by July 31, 2013.


Respite funds must be requested by the primary caregiver who resides full time in the same household. Funds may not be used to reimburse household expenses or daycare; funds must be used to reimburse an individual respite care provider or an organization that provides respite.


Due to limited funds, not all eligible applications will be approved.


For more information and an application please click here.



Sheri Abrams' Book "Don't Gamble With Your Social Security Disability Benefits--What Every Virginia Resident Needs To Know To Win A Social Security Disability Case" Is Available.

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For more information please click here to see our Press Release.  


Available for purchase at or you can download a free copy of the book   at our websites:  









Now Available For Nook & Kindle



"Don't Gamble With Your Social Security Disability Benefits--What Every Virginia Resident Needs To Know To Win A Social Security Disability Case" is now available for the Nook here.


and the Kindle here.



The law firm of Needham Mitnick & Pollack, PLC, is located at:


NMP's Office Building 


400 S. Maple Avenue
Suite 210
Falls Church, VA 22046
(703) 536-7778



This is in downtown Falls Church and the office has plenty of free and accessible parking.



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If you know of someone who could use my legal services or any of the other members of the law firm of Needham Mitnick & Pollack, plc, please forward to him/her this e-mail newsletter or give him/her our telephone number: (703) 536-7778.


We provide legal services in the areas of Social Security Disability Law , Elder Law, Wills and Trusts, Probate, Trust Administration, Powers of Attorney, Advance Medical Directives, Guardianships, Long Term Care Planning, Disability Planning, Medicaid Eligibility, Veterans Benefits and Special Needs Trusts.
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 (703) 536-7778.