Social Security Disability &
  Special Needs Planning News
 Sheri R. Abrams, Attorney at Law
In This Issue:
What Caused the Maximum Amount of Social Security Benefits to Decrease this year---Will My Benefits Decrease?
Beware of Fake Social Security Emails
Beware of New Medicare Phone Scam
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Source: Reprinted from the February 2016 Newsletter of Sheri R. Abrams, Attorney at Law,


Issue: # 85

 February 2016

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. 

You may unsubscribe by clicking on the link at the end of this e-mail.
What Caused the Maximum Amount of Social Security Benefits to Decrease this year---Will My Benefits Decrease?

question markIn our last Newsletter (January 2016), we reported that the maximum Social Security benefit decreased to $2,639 a month in 2016. 

This raised questions from some of our readers.  

We were asked what caused the maximum Social Security benefit to decrease from $ 2,663/month in 2015  to $2639/ month in 2016.
A decrease in the maximum Social Security benefit occurs when there is no Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA), but there is an increase in the national average wage index.

We were also asked how come if $2639/month is the maximum benefit amount how come they were receiving more than that amount in Social Security retirement benefits and will their benefits decrease?

No your Social Security Disability benefits will not decrease because of this.

What can be confusing is that the maximum Social Security benefit of $2639/month is the base Social Security retirement benefit if you were to apply today at your full retirement age.
You get more money per month if you wait to file (up to age 70).
So if you are receiving more than $2639/month you must have filed in a previous year or after your full retirement age.

Beware of Fake Social Security Emails  

email scam alert
The Social Security Administration (SSA) and Federal Trade Commission are warning Americans about a scam email with "Get Protected" in the subject line.

The email describes new features from the Social Security Administration (SSA) that can help taxpayers monitor their credit reports, and know about unauthorized use of their Social Security number.  It even cites the IRS and the official-sounding "S.A.F.E Act 2015." It sounds real, but it's all made-up.

If you get an email like that, don't click on any of the links or open any attachments.

It's a phishing email to get you to click on a scammer's link. If you do, a scammer can install malware - like viruses and spyware - on your computer. Or, the link might send you to a spoof site - a lookalike website set up by a scammer to trick you into entering your personal information.

Not sure if an email is really from Social Security? Here are a couple of clues. Did the email end up in your junk folder? Email providers use filters to help catch phishing scams and spam from getting into your inbox. And when you hover your cursor over the link, does it really go to a trusted website?
In this fake SSA email, when you hover over the url you're told to click on, you see the link goes to an unrelated ".com" - instead of the Social Security Administration's

Beware of New Medicare Phone Scam 

Phone Scam
Recently scammers have been calling, pretending to work for Medicare.

They say they need to verify your bank account number - and it might sound convincing. Some callers may even know the first few numbers of your account, and say you just need to verify the rest. But if you fill in the blanks, you're giving them access to your money - and their goal is to steal it.

The callers may say they lost your information and need it to deposit funds, provide additional benefits, or send you a new Medicare or prescription card. They assure you there's no charge, and act like it's an urgent matter - that your benefits will be cut off if you don't give them your bank account information right away.

In truth, it's all a trick to steal your money. Medicare will never call you and ask for your bank account information.

So the next time you get a call like this, here's what to do:

Don't give out your bank account number - or any part of your Social Security number.   Simply hang up the phone.

If you have questions about your Medicare benefits, call 1-800-MEDICARE.

Free Download of Sheri Abrams' Book "Don't Gamble With Your Social Security Disability Benefits"

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

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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, 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.