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
Endocrine Disorders Removed from Social Security's List of Disabling Impairments
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) App Helps Thousands
Share this Newsletter
Join Our List
Join Our Mailing List
See Our Previous Email Newsletters
Email Archives
Read Our Blog :
Sign Up For Our Blog :

Find us on Facebook 
View our profile on LinkedIn   
Follow us on Twitter 
Issue: # 35June 2011
Picture of Social Security Card and Dice




Welcome to the thirty-fifth edition of our newsletter.


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.


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 unsubscribe by clicking on the link at the end of this e-mail.


Endocrine Disorders Removed from Social Security's List of Disabling Impairments

Social Security Logo

On June 7, 2011  the Social Security Administration (SSA) eliminated all adult impairment listings for endocrine disorders and most of the children's endocrine listings.  Endocrine disorders include diabetes,  hypoglycemia and thyroid disorders.


Social Security Listings describe medical conditions that Social Security feels are so severe that it presumes any person who has a medical condition(s) that satisfies the criteria of a listing is unable to perform any gainful activity and, therefore, is disabled.  Thus, the listings are special rules that provide Social Security with a mechanism to identify claims that should clearly be allowed. Social Security uses listings only to allow claims.  It does not deny any claim solely because a person's medical condition or conditions do not satisfy a listing.


The Social Security Administration has decided to take this action because it feels that medical science has made significant advances in detecting endocrine disorders at earlier stages and newer treatments have resulted in better management of these conditions.  Also, Social Security feels that most endocrine disorders do not reach listing-level severity because they do not become sufficiently severe or do not remain at a sufficient level of severity long enough to meet Social Security's twelve-month duration requirement. 


These changes do not mean that Social Security will ignore any damaging effects of an endocrine disorder.  In those cases, evaluation will be done under other impairment listings that are appropriate for the complications.  For example, diabetes mellitus in adults or children may result in peripheral nerve damage.  A person with such damage would be evaluated under the neurological listings; similarly, retinopathy (damage to the retina) would be evaluated under the listings for visual loss. 


Changes in the endocrine listing does not affect those who are already receiving benefits under this listing.  When reviewing continuing disability claims, Social Security must consider a person's qualification under the "old" endocrine listing as if it is still valid.


All child listings for endocrine disorders are also being removed, except for one listing for children younger than six years old, who have diabetes mellitus that requires daily insulin.  In these cases, Social Security presumes the presence of disability and no further proof is needed.


For more information on these changes in the listings, please click here


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) App Helps Thousands


PTSD AppThe PTSD Coach smartphone application (app), launched in April by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD), has already helped more than 5,000 users connect with important mental health information and resources.


Since its launch, the PTSD Coach app has been downloaded by thousands of individuals.  While 96 percent of the users so far are located in the United States, the app has also been downloaded in 25 other countries. 


The app lets users track their PTSD symptoms, links them with public and personalized sources of support, provides accurate information about PTSD, and teaches helpful strategies for managing PTSD symptoms on the go.


Currently, the PTSD Coach app has received perfect customer review scores on the iTunes App Store.  Comments from Veterans and family members are overwhelmingly positive and one user describes the app as "a must for every spouse who has a family member with PTSD."  Professionals have sent positive reviews, suggestions and offers to collaborate on research evaluating the PTSD Coach app.


The app has also already proven to be a useful tool for the staff at the Veterans Crisis Line.  Within the first two hours of the app's official launch, the Crisis Line staff were contacted by a distressed Veteran who reported being instructed by the app to call the crisis line and was subsequently given an appointment at the local VA medical center.  Crisis Line staff have begun to regularly recommend this resource to callers.


The app is one of the first in a series of jointly-designed resources by the VA National Center for PTSD and DoD's National Center for Telehealth and Technology to help service members and Veterans manage their readjustment challenges and get anonymous assistance.


Given the popularity of mobile devices, VA and DoD hope to reach tens of thousands of Veterans, service members, and their family members with the new suite of apps.


Information on the PTSD Coach app is on the VA's National Center for PTSD Website, which can be reached by clicking here.


More apps from DoD's National Center for Telehealth and Technology can be found here .



Sheri Abrams' 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 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.
NMP logo
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 any of the areas of law for which we provide legal services, please call us at (703) 536-7778.