Social Security Disability &
  Special Needs Planning News
 Sheri R. Abrams, Attorney at Law
In This Issue:
Only a Small Increase in Social Security Benefits Expected Next Year
Expert Interview Series: Sheri Abrams on Social Security Disability
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Source: Reprinted from the June 2016 Newsletter of Sheri R. Abrams, Attorney at Law,


Issue: # 89

 June 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.
Only a Small Increase in Social Security Benefits Expected Next Year 

money and Social Security card
Millions of Social Security beneficiaries can expect only a very small increase in monthly payments next year, the trustees who oversee the retirement and disability program said Wednesday.

The projected 0.2 percent increase in Social Security payments would come a year after beneficiaries received no increase.

By law, increases are based on a government measure of inflation, which has been low.

More than 60 million retirees, disabled workers, spouses and surviving children receive Social Security benefits. The average monthly payment is about $1,232, so the average increase would be a little less than $2.50 a month.

In more bad news, the trustees say that some Medicare beneficiaries will face much higher Part B premiums for outpatient care.   By law, the premium increase for most Medicare recipients cannot exceed their increase in Social Security payments.  However, about 30 percent of Medicare recipients are exempt from that provision. They are mainly new recipients and those with higher incomes. The trustees project that their base monthly premiums will increase by about $27, to $149 a month. Upper-income recipients pay more.

More than 55 million people receive Medicare.

Expert Interview Series: Sheri Abrams on Social Security Disability by Kathleen Coxwell for ""           

new retirement
I was recently interviewed for an article for " ."  The following are excerpts from that article.  To read the entire article, or to share it, please click here. 

"An illness or injury can totally derail the best laid retirement plans, making it difficult or impossible to earn an income. 

Government agencies can be tricky to navigate at the best of times, let alone when your livelihood depends on it. 

Question:   One of the five kinds of Social Security Disability benefits is the disabled widow's and widower's benefits. How soon after the passing of the spouse must have someone become injured to receive these benefits?

Answer:  A widow or widower's disability must have started before or within seven years of their spouse's death in order to receive benefits.

Question:  Social Security Disability and SSI are similar, but not exactly the same. Can you talk about the main differences between the two?

Answer:  Social Security Disability is financed by taxes paid by workers, employers and self-employed persons. SSI is a welfare program financed through general tax revenues.

To obtain Social Security Disability benefits, a person must have worked enough and during the required period of time. SSI requires no work.
Social Security Disability pays Auxiliary benefits (to children for example), but no Auxiliary benefits are paid with SSI.

Social Security Disability recipients are entitled to Medicare (after 24 months). If you receive SSI benefits, you are entitled to Medicaid.

The major difference, however, is that unlike Social Security Disability, SSI decisions are made not only on the basis of disability, but are also made on the basis of financial need. To receive SSI benefits, a person must meet the income, resource, and living arrangement requirements. For example, currently a person receiving SSI benefits can have no more than $2000 in assets.

Question:  In the instance that someone is suffering from mental disabilities, how might they go about proving their inability to work to claim Social Security benefits?

Answer:  In general, a person must be seeking treatment for their mental illness. For example, the person should be seeing a psychiatrist and a therapist on a regular basis and be taking medication for their mental illness. Also, having an inpatient stay in a mental hospital can be helpful in proving an inability to work because of a mental illness.

Question:  Are Social Security benefits able to be garnished in the case that a recipient has defaulted on a debt?

Answer:  Social Security benefits can be garnished only by the United States government for things like back federal taxes, federal student loans and child support payments. SSI cannot be garnished for any reason."

To read the entire article, or to share it, please click  here.  

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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Oakton, VA 22124
(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, 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.