Social Security Disability &
  Special Needs Planning News from
 Sheri R. Abrams, Attorney at Law,
 Sheri R. Abrams PLLC 
In This Issue:
The Need for Medical Treatment to Obtain Social Security Disability Benefit
Marking a Social Security Milestone
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Source: Reprinted from the July/August 2015 Newsletter of Sheri R. Abrams, Attorney at Law,


Issue: # 83

 July/August 2015

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Welcome to our monthly newsletter. 


These monthly newsletters are designed to provide useful information on Disability Law & Issues with a special emphasis on Social Security Disability & Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits and Special Needs Trusts & Planning.


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The Need for Medical Treatment to Obtain Social Security Disability Benefits
As an Attorney who has been practicing Social Security Disability law for over 20 years, I know it is very important that a claimant for benefits be receiving medical treatment.

A claimant for Social Security Disability benefits must make sure that they are seeing his or her doctor regularly but also that they are describing in detail to their doctors the medical problems they are having.

It is also critically important for a claimant to be treated by a medical specialist for the condition or conditions that causes him or her to be disabled and unable to work.  For example, if a claimant has arthritis they need to be treated by a local Rheumatologist; if they have a brain injury they should be treated by a Neurologist, and so forth. Diagnosis and treatment by an internist or primary care doctor is not sufficient in most cases to prove disability.

It is also important, of course, for the treating doctor to be supportive of his or her patient's disability case. If a claimant has a physical disability, is under age 50 and their doctor(s) believe that they have the capacity to do sedentary work then they normally will not be able to receive their Social Security Disability Benefits.

Another important issue is whether or not a claimant suffers from a mental illness. A claimant can have the physical capacity to do heavy work but if he or she experiences significant problems with his or her ability to maintain attention and concentration, focus, follow directions, or deal with work-related stress, they may not have the capacity to do their past work or any other work at any physical level.

To be successful in getting a claimant benefits for a mental illness, a claimant must be willing to recognize that he or she has these problems and they must be willing to obtain the appropriate mental health treatment. It is very important that the claimant obtain this mental health treatment from a specialist like a Psychiatrist and not from his or her internist or primary care doctor.

For more information on Social Security Disability Benefits please visit

Marking a Social Security Milestone
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Today, August 14, 2015, is the 80th anniversary of Social Security. Few Americans working today can remember a time when Social Security wasn't part of the social fabric of America.

Since the Social Security retirement program was enacted under Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1935, it has expanded in important ways.  In 1939, benefits for dependent survivors of wage earners were added. And in 1956, disability insurance benefits were added. Today, as in the past, millions of Americans rely on these Social Security programs for income in the event of their own retirement, disability or death of a family wage-earner.

While Social Security is a part of our social fabric, that doesn't mean that we can take its future for granted. As we celebrate the 80th anniversary of Social Security on August 14, this is the time to ensure that the Social Security programs remain strong for the next generation. Now more than ever, as an increasing number of workers approach retirement, we cannot afford to jeopardize the stability it provides millions of families.

Social Security offers vital protection to nearly all American workers and their families, so that if they face serious disability, illness, or injury before reaching retirement age, they will receive a monthly benefit. And, in the event of death, it provides some financial protection to the surviving family members. It is funded by your payroll taxes - as you work, you buy premiums for this important insurance.

After advocating for workers with disabilities for over 20 years, I have seen firsthand the vital role Social Security plays in people's lives when they need it most. 

In addition to providing a foundation of economic security to millions of Americans, Social Security also boosts the economy, because when people receive this compensation, they spend it in their communities. In 2012, Social Security supported more than $1 trillion in economic output.

It is important to keep in mind that many of the people who rely on this program - seniors and people with disabilities - are barely scraping by. Social Security benefits make up at least 90 percent of income for half of all disabled beneficiaries, and it averages just around $1,130 per month ($35 per day). This doesn't leave any room for cuts. And, the disability standard is extremely strict - requiring extensive medical documentation for serious impairments and conditions. In fact, more than 6 in 10 applicants are denied, even after all stages of appeal.

As part of the Social Security system, Disability Insurance is an important public structure, like our highways or water system that needs to be maintained. There are a few easy ways that Congress can make the program more efficient - including fully funding the Social Security Administration so they can hire more staff to process claims, and re-balancing the trust funds again to ensure there is adequate funding for years to come. In the lead up to the 2016 election, we should all ask candidates where they stand on this critical program.

Social Security belongs to the American workers who paid into it. Any of us could find ourselves disabled. That's why it is so critical that our politicians work together to ke ep Social Security strong for generations to come.

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 at or you can download a free copy of the book at:  


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 Sheri R. Abrams PLLC is located at:


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(571) 328-5795


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We provide legal services in the areas of Social Security Disability Law, Special Needs Planning, Elder Law, Special Needs Trusts, Wills and Trusts, Powers of Attorney, Advance Medical Directives, Guardianships, Disability Planning and Student Loan Discharge. 
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