Social Security Disability &
  Special Needs Planning News from
 Sheri R. Abrams, Attorney at Law,
 "Of Counsel" at Needham Mitnick & Pollack
Picture of Sheri Abrams
In This Issue
How To Protect Your Child's Disability Benefits After They Become an Adult
How Can You Get Your Prescriptions Filled for Free
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Issue: # 25August 2010
Picture of Social Security Card and Dice

Welcome to the twenty-fifth edition of our newsletter.
These monthly newsletters are designed to show you how not to gamble with your or your patients/clients Social Security Disability and/or SSI benefits.  We also provide you with information on Special Needs Planning.
You may have been added to our e-mail newsletter mailing list if you have been in contact with Sheri R. Abrams, Attorney at Law or the Law Firm of Needham Mitnick & Pollack PLC.  
You may unsubscribe by clicking on the link at the end of this e-mail.
How To Protect Your Child's Disability Benefits After They Become an Adult
Picture of Mother & DaughterMany parents do not know that they may be at risk for losing disability benefits for their child once they turn 18.  The Federal government uses different standards in determining Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability payments for children then it does adults.  Parents cannot assume that when their child turns 18 that they will automatically continue to receive SSI disability benefits.

Often parents have to reapply for their child to receive SSI disability benefits as an adult.  On a child's 18th birthday, his or her SSI disability benefits end unless the child qualifies and applies for benefits as an adult. A major difference is previously, their parents' income was used to determine the child's financial eligibility for SSI benefits, but now, the child's own income and savings are the sole basis for meeting financial eligibility. This means, if a child did not qualify before due to their parents' income being too high, they qualify now with their income.

On the other hand, the definition of a disability changes once a child becomes an adult. A person, who qualified before as a child for SSI, may not qualify for SSI disability benefits as an adult. As an adult, whether or not the adult is able to work for at least 12 months plays a large role in determining disability status.  In other words, the adult's condition has to be so severe that it prevents him or her from working.

Here are some tips of what parents can do to help their children:

- Set-up a review. As a child approaches his or her 18th birthday, the parents should contact their state's Disability Determination Services (DDS) to set-up a review of the child's disability. Generally, the review period will begin on the child's 18th birthday. The review is necessary to determine if the child's disability is eligible for adult SSI disability benefits.

- Work with your physician. If a disabled child has not been regularly seeing a specialist, therapist or other medical professional for his or her condition, then the parents should resume regular appointments as soon as possible.  During the review DDS will ask for the treating physician's assessment of the child's disability - an assessment the doctor will not be able to accurately give if he or she has not seen the child in years. This assessment can be a critical factor in your child receiving adult SSI benefits.

-Work with an experienced Attorney. If you have questions about maintaining your child's SSI disability benefits once they reach adulthood, contact an attorney, such as Sheri Abrams, who is experienced in handling Social Security Disability and SSI cases.  If you do not take timely action to protect your child's rights to benefits, he or she may lose them upon their 18th birthday.
For more information on Social Security Disability and SSI Benefits please click here.
How Can You Get Your Prescriptions Filled For Free
CapsulesEvery year the big drug companies give away more than $200 million dollars worth of free medicines to people with too much money to qualify for Medicaid but too little to afford health insurance.  Rules vary, but typically an individual making less than $21,000 a year or a family of four living on less than $44,000 would qualify. There's no time limit.  As long as your income remains low, the medication keeps coming.
Nearly every pharmaceutical company offers such a program. Some come with fairly easy paperwork; others are more complicated. Some companies require extensive proof that you are unable to afford the medications on your own. Other companies allow you to join the program even if you have a decent-sized income, as long as you are able to prove that the medications are a hardship for you. Once you have qualified, the pharmaceutical company sends the medication to your doctor or pharmacy for you to pick up or ships them to you in the mail.

Applying for pharmaceutical assistance used to be confusing, but now the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) has a clearinghouse service called the Partnership for Prescription Assistance. This program will link you with the maker of your drug.

Go to for access to more than 475 different assistance programs.

Press Release:  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!
Picture of Book 
For more information please click here to see our Press Release.
You can also download a free copy of the book at our websites:
The law firm of Needham Mitnick & Pollack, PLC, is located at:
NMP's Office Building 
400 S. Maple Avenue
Suite 210
Falls Church, VA 22046
(703) 536-7778
This is in downtown Falls Church and the office has plenty of free and accessible parking.
Needham Mitnick & Pollack, PLCIf 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.