Welcome to the twenty-first 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 Special Needs Planning.
|Should You Apply For Social Security Disability Benefits Online?|
If you need information or to apply for disability benefits, the easiest way to do so is online. Save yourself the time and gas money driving to and from your local Social Security office. Applying for your disability benefits can take as little as 15 minutes, as opposed to the possible hours of being at an actual office, as Social Security offices are often quite busy. Plus, some Social Security offices require an appointment to be made, and online there is no such requirement.
If you are not sure whether or not you are ready to apply, there are resources online to help you in your decision making. One feature is the Disability Starter Kit, which makes it easier for disabled persons to prepare their application. The kit explains documentation required and what information will be needed on the application including checklists and worksheets to make the application process as simple as possible. You can find this Disability Starter Kit on the left hand side of the www.socialsecurity.gov/disability page
For more information on applying for Social Security Disability Benefits please click here.
|Should You Get a Special Needs Trust For Your Child?
|Everyone should have an estate plan, but sadly most Americans do not or put off getting one until it is too late. If you have a disabled child, chances are they will outlive you and you're their primary form of support.
A basic estate plan consists of a Will, Advanced Medical Directive, HIPAA, Power of Attorney for Financial and Health Care, and sometimes a Living Trust. It may also include a Special Needs Trust. Here are some of the characteristics of a Special Needs Trust:
1) A Special Needs Trust provides funds for expenses that enhance a disabled person's quality of life while not cutting off access to government benefits, such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Special-needs individuals under age 65 are allowed to have trusts funded with their own money (assets from an inheritance or legal settlement) and still have access to government benefits. Government benefits only pay out if an individual has less than $2,000 (not including a home, vehicle and basic personal items) in assets.
4) Each state has their own rules governing Special Needs Trusts, so make sure you work with attorneys like those at Needham Mitnick & Pollack, PLC, who are aware of the specifics of your state.
2) There must be an independent trustee who makes distributions, communicates with the disabled person and works closely with government agencies. They handle the money management and file all the necessary paperwork for the trust.
3) Third party trusts can be funded by parents and act the same way. Parents need to be careful not to pay distributions directly to the special needs person but to a trustee of the trust, normally a financial services company, lawyer, accountant or financial adviser. Other relatives, too, should be aware that they should leave gifts or an inheritance to the Special Needs Trust not the person directly.
It is up to you to ensure your disabled child or family member will still be taken care of properly once you are no longer around to do so.
For More Information on Special Needs Trusts please click here
|Sheri Abrams' New 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 Now Available!|
Virginia Attorney Sheri R. Abrams along with Attorney Benjamin W. Glass has published a new guide for anyone filing for Social Security Disability benefits. This comprehensive legal book explains the process of filing for Social Security Disability benefits in easy-to-understand language, describes how an experienced attorney can guide a claimant through the maze of administrative work involved, and answers frequently-asked questions about the process.
The clear organization and down-to-earth approach makes this book a valuable reference tool for a layperson who seeks to understand how and when to apply for Social Security Disability benefits-and when to hire an attorney to help.
This book is available for purchase at Amazon.com and through Word Association Publishers.
|OUR OFFICE LOCATION|
The law firm of Needham Mitnick & Pollack, PLC is located at:
400 S. Maple Avenue
Falls Church, VA 22046
This is in downtown Falls Church and the office has plenty of free and accessible parking.
|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, 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 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, Veterans Benefits or Special Needs Trusts, please call us at (703) 536-7778.