Sheri R. Abrams, P.C., Attorney at Law
Social Security Disability &
  Special Needs Trusts News from
 Sheri R. Abrams, P.C. Attorney at Law
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In This Issue
Can You Collect Both Social Security Disability Benefits and Unemployment?
Sheri Abrams to Speak At Lupus & Disability Seminar on September 12th
Be Cautious of Generic Health Care Powers of Attorney Forms
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Issue: # 13 August 2009
Picture of Social Security Card and Dice

Welcome to the thirteenth edition of our newsletter.  In these monthly newsletters we will be showing you how not to gamble with your or your patients/clients Social Security Disability and/or SSI benefits.  We will also be providing you with useful information on Wills, Living Wills, Powers of Attorney and Special Needs Trusts.
Can You Collect Both Social Security Disability Benefits and Unemployment?
Treasury Check
To be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits, a claimant must not be able to return to their past work, nor do any other work that exists in the national economy.
A disability under Social Security must also last at least 12 months or be expected to result in death.
Submitting an application for Social Security Disability benefits is you saying that you are entitled to benefits under the above definition - in other words, that you are not able to work. In signing your application, you swear, under penalty of law, that you are making no false statements on your application.
If you apply for unemployment insurance you must also swear, under penalty of law, that you are making no false statements on your application.  Persons who collect unemployment insurance swear that they have looked for work each week, and that, if work was found, they would be ready, willing and able to do it.

Therefore, an unemployment claim is tantamount to saying "I am able to work," while a Social Security disability claim is stating "I am not able to work."  Both statements are made under penalty of perjury, but both cannot be true.

Filing both at the same time is, at the most, fraudulent and, in the least, may affect your credibility to both Unemployment and Social Security.
For more information on Social Security Disability benefits please click here.
Sheri Abrams to Speak At Lupus & Disability Seminar on September 12th

Independent Living


Communicating with Others
Financial Resources


Patricia Jackson
LFAGW Support Group Leader

Sheri R. Abrams, Attorney at Law
Fairfax Virginia Attorney specializing in Social Security Disability Law

Steven Nissen, M.S., CRC
National Multiple Sclerosis Society- National Capital Chapter
Director of Employment Programs
Director of Operation Job Match (OJM)

WHEN: Saturday, September 12, 2009

TIME: 9:30AM-12:00PM

WHERE: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
1779 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036

REGISTER: To register for this free seminar please click here.

This Special Topic Seminar is offered as a free service of the LFAGW. All costs of services for patients and families are underwritten by the fundraising efforts of the LFAGW, including the Walk for Lupus Now held in April of each year.
Be Cautious of Generic Health Care Powers of Attorney Forms
person signing 
Hospitals often give patients a health care power of attorney (health care proxy) form to sign on being admitted.   While signing a generic health care power of attorney form is better than not signing one at all, these documents vary in the amount of care that has gone into their drafting, and having one that is specifically tailored to your needs can be important. 

A health care power of attorney allows you to appoint someone else to act as your agent for medical decisions.  In general, a health care power of attorney takes effect only when you require medical treatment and a physician determines that you are unable to communicate your wishes concerning what that treatment should be.   Appointing someone to serve as your agent helps ensure that your medical treatment instructions will be carried out.
While a health care power of attorney serves to appoint an agent to speak for you, you can also use it to give the agent guidance about your medical wishes.  Following are some issues that can be addressed in a health care proxy:

�The name of the person authorized to act for you. It is good to appoint an alternate as well.
�Whether or not you want to be kept alive by machines if you are in a persistent vegetative state.
�Under what circumstances you want pain medication to be administered.

Whatever choices you make, you should take time to consider your health care wishes before signing a health care power of attorney.  For this reason, signing a generic hospital form may not be a good idea, as many of these forms will not take your individual wishes into account.

Also bear in mind that if you already have a health care power of attorney as a part of your estate plan, the generic form will revoke your more personal health care power of attorney.

A qualified attorney, such as Sheri Abrams, can help you create a health care power of attorney that addresses your particular situation. You can then take this document with you to the hospital and have it made part of your medical records. 

For more information on health care powers of attorney please click here.
Our Office Location
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Our law office is located in the "Old Town
Fairfax Building," formerly known as the "Jesse Building."
                        4015 Chain Bridge Road
                                     Suite i
                             Fairfax, VA 22030
                               (703) 934-5450
We are right across the street from the Courthouse in Fairfax City, Virginia.
Free Parking (including a Handicapped parking space) is available in the lot behind the building.
person signingIf 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:
(703) 934-5450.
We provide legal services in the areas of Social Security Disability Law and prepare Wills, Special Needs Trusts, Living Wills, Health Care and Financial Powers of Attorney for clients in Virginia, DC and Maryland, and we are always happy to provide FREE friendly phone advice.
If you refer someone who becomes a client, we will treat you to a great cup of coffee (you will receive a FREE Starbucks Gift Card).
If you, or someone you know, is involved with an educational event or support group that would benefit from a presentation on Social Security Disability Law, Wills, Living Wills, Powers of Attorney or Special Needs Trusts, please call us at (703) 934-5450.