Social Security Disability &
  Special Needs Planning News from
 Sheri R. Abrams, Attorney at Law,
 Partner at Needham Mitnick & Pollack, PLC  
In This Issue:
Can a Congressional Inquiry Help a Claim for Social Security Disability Benefits?
FCC Adopts Rules to Promote Widespread Text-to-911 Availability
Disability Visibility Project to Record Stories for the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disability Act
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On Friday October 17, 2014, Sheri Abrams will be participating in the conference "Together on the Pathway to Wellness: The Good Life - A Vision for Recovery."


This day-long conference will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.  at the Ernst Community Cultural Center, Northern Virginia Community College- Annandale Campus, 8333 Little River Turnpike, Annandale, VA 22003


This conference is designed for persons with mental health issues and/or substance abuse disorders, and family members, professionals and others with interest in the topic of wellness and recovery.

Learn more about the conference and register online here


Some scholarships are available. 


Call 703-980-4641 or email the Conference Coordinators with questions.


This conference is sponsored by the Wellness and Recovery Committee, the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board, the Northern Virginia Mental Health Foundation, Inc., Pathway Homes, Inc.. and PRS, Inc.



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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 August 2014  Newsletter of Sheri R. Abrams, Attorney at Law, Needham Mitnick & Pollack, PLC 



Issue: # 73

 August 2014

Picture of Social Security Card and Dice




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.


You may have been added to our e-mail newsletter mailing list if you are a client, business associate, a Facebook friend, a Linked-In connection, or another professional contact of Sheri R. Abrams, Attorney at Law, or the Law Firm of Needham Mitnick & Pollack, plc.


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

Can a Congressional Inquiry Help a Claim for Social Security Disability Benefits?

  U.S. House logo

A congressional inquiry is a "status check" of your claim for Social Security Disability benefits conducted by your local representative on your behalf. While requesting a congressional inquiry does not automatically guarantee that your claim will be addressed any sooner, it certainly won't negatively affect your case.


You should, however, only request a congressional inquiry if your case is taking an abnormal amount of time to process and you first consult with your Attorney.

To initiate a congressional inquiry, you will need to contact your local representative's office to request that he or she look into where your Social Security Disability claim currently stands.

To determine who your representative is and for contact information for him or her, please click here.

In your request, you should give a general overview of the circumstances surrounding your Social Security Disability claim and your Social Security number. You may include factors such as:

  • How long it has been since you filed your  application for benefits;
  • How long you have been waiting for a hearing to be scheduled; and
  • Any medical, emotional, or financial distress the claim process has caused.

If your representative takes action on your request, he or she will contact the Social Security
Administration (SSA) by phone, email, or letter, to ask for an update on the status of your disability claim. This may give the SSA the push required to resolve your claim sooner.

It is important to understand, however, that while a congressional inquiry may speed up the Social Security Disability process, it can't and won't change the SSA's decision regarding your eligibility to receive Social Security Disability benefits.


FCC Adopts Rules to Promote Widespread Text-to-911 Availability

fcc logo  

The Federal Communications Commission has adopted rules requiring text messaging providers to enable Americans to text 911 in an emergency.


Building on commitments made by America's four largest wireless carriers to support text-to-911 by May 2014, the new rules will ensure that all remaining wireless carriers and certain IP-based text application providers are prepared to support text-to-911 by the end of the year.  After that time, if a 911 call center requests text-to-911, text messaging providers will have six months to deploy the service in that area.


This action will make text-to-911 more uniformly available and keeps pace with how Americans

communicate.  Reports indicate that more than 7 out of 10 cell phone users send or receive text messages.


Text messaging is also widely used by Americans who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities.


The Commission's text-to-911 requirements apply to wireless carriers and "interconnected" text messaging providers (i.e., those which enable consumers to send text messages to and from U.S. phone numbers). This includes providers of "over the top" applications that support texting to and from phone numbers but not, for example, messaging apps that only support communications among users of games or social media.


Although text-to-911 availability is currently limited, it is rapidly expanding. More than one hundred 911 call centers serving portions of 16 states and two entire states (Vermont and Maine) are now accepting emergency texts, and there are already reports of lives saved.


To help protect consumers as text-to-911 is

deployed, the Commission previously adopted rules requiring text messaging providers to send an automatic "bounce-back" text message to consumers who try to text 911 where the service is not available.


Text-to-911 can provide a lifesaving alternative in a number of different situations, such as where a person who is deaf, hard of hearing, or has a speech disability is unable to make a voice call; where voice networks are congested; or where a 911 voice call could endanger the caller.


Approximately 48 million Americans are deaf or hard of hearing, and approximately 7.5 million Americans have speech disabilities.


However text-to-911 is a complement to, not a substitute for, existing voice-based 911 service, so consumers should make a voice call to contact 911 during an emergency when possible; consumers who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech disabled should use relay services or other existing methods to contact 911 if text-to-911 is unavailable. 


Disability Visibility Project to Record Stories for the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

  disability visibility project

The Disability Visibility Project is a yearlong grassroots campaign (from July 2014 to July 2015) to document the stories of people with disabilities in celebration of the upcoming 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 26, 2015.


In partnership with StoryCorps, the national oral history organization, Disability Visibility Project

encourages people to record and archive their unique and powerful stories at StoryCorps' recording studios in AtlantaChicagoSan Francisco and in StoryCorps' mobile recording booth that travels from city to city throughout the United States.


StoryCorps interviews are conducted between two people who know and care about each other.  A trained facilitator guides the participants through the interview process. At the end of each 40-minute recording session, participants receive a copy of their interview. With their permission, a second copy is archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.


For more information visit: 


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: 







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, Student Loan Discharge, 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.