Social Security Disability &
  Special Needs Planning News
 Sheri R. Abrams, Attorney at Law
In This Issue:
The Implementation of the Disabled Military Child Protection Act is Great News For Military Families
I am 63 years old and just stopped working because of an illness. Should I apply for Social Security Disability or Social Security Retirement?
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Source: Reprinted from the May 2016 Newsletter of Sheri R. Abrams, Attorney at Law,


Issue: # 88

 May 2016

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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.

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. 

You may unsubscribe by clicking on the link at the end of this e-mail.
The Implementation of the Disabled Military Child Protection Act is Great News For Military Families

The Disabled Military Child Protection Act allows military families with special needs children to protect their children's eligibility for public benefits while allowing them to participate in their Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP).

The military's Survivor Benefit Plans permit 
monthly benefit stipends, up to 55% of the military member's pension, to be paid for the benefit of a disabled child.

Before the implementation of this Act, benefits were required to be paid directly to the disabled child. This caused the disabled child to lose  their eligibility for government benefit programs such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid.

The Disabled Military Child Protection Act granted military members the authority to name a First Party Special Needs Trust as a beneficiary of their SBP. I f the benefits are distributed directly to the trust, the child will remain eligible for benefits such as SSI and Medicaid. 

These First Party Special Needs Trusts must be irrevocable, for the sole benefit of the disabled child, and must have a "payback" provision-- meaning if there are any assets left in the trust when the beneficiary of SBP dies, the funds are paid back to Medicaid for the cost of the beneficiary's care. 

There are very specific rules that need to be followed regarding these trusts and the assignment of benefits.    For example, the military requires   verification  from an attorney certifying that the trust is the "correct" type of trust and is in compliance with all Federal and State laws. 

I am 63 years old and just stopped working because of an illness.  Should I apply for Social Security Disability or Social Security Retirement?

social security form
I am asked the above question frequently:

Answer:  You can apply for either one or both at the same time.

You can file for reduced Social Security retirement since you are already at least the minimum Social Security Administration retirement age of 62. A retirement amount is permanently reduced by the number of months that you are before full retirement age, which is age 66 for people born from 1943 to 1954.

Disability benefits are more difficult to receive than retirement, and that application can take months to process. With this in mind, another option for you is to file for both Social Security disability and retirement at the same time. If you file for both, the retirement, reduced for age, is paid first while the disability application is pending. This provides you with immediate income.

If your disability application is not approved, the reduced retirement continues at the established reduced amount. If the disability application is approved, your ongoing retirement amount is reviewed, changed to disability and increased.

Applying for the need-based Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security could be another option depending on your financial situation.  

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.     

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Oakton, VA 22124
(571) 328-5795


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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, Special Needs Trusts, Wills and Trusts, Powers of Attorney, Advance Medical Directives, Guardianship, 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.