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
Local Social Security Offices Now Closing to the Public a Half Hour Early
Disabled Veterans Real Property Tax Relief

Upcoming  Presentations:


Social Security Disability and Lupus:


Please join Sheri Abrams on Saturday, September 17th for a teleconference for the Lupus Foundation as part of their Learn from the Experts Series. This teleconference is an opportunity to learn new information from the comfort and privacy of home by calling into a designated number to hear an interactive presentation.  Click here for more information and to register for this teleconference.  

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Issue: # 37August 2011
Picture of Social Security Card and Dice




Welcome to the thirty-seventh 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.


Local Social Security Offices Now Closing to the Public a Half Hour Early

Social Security Logo 

Congressional Budget Cuts Force Reduced Public Hours


Effective August 15, 2011, local Social Security offices nationwide are closing to the public 30 minutes early each day. For example, a field office that was usually open to the public Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. is now closing daily at 3:30 p.m.


 "While agency employees will continue to work their regular hours, this shorter public window will allow us to complete face-to-face service with the visiting public without incurring the cost of overtime for our employees," said Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security.   "Congress provided our agency with nearly $1 billion less than the President requested for our budget this fiscal year, which makes it impossible for us to provide the amount of overtime needed to handle service to the public as we have in the past."


Most Social Security services do not require a visit to a local office. For example, anyone wishing to apply for benefits, sign up for direct deposit, replace a Medicare card, obtain a proof of income letter or inform Social Security of a change of address or telephone number may do so at or by dialing their toll-free number: 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).

Disabled Veterans Real Property Tax Relief 

 VA Logo 

Effective January 1, 2011 a new law was imposed by the Commonwealth of Virginia allowing a 100% real estate tax exemption for qualifying disabled armed forces veterans and their spouses.


Pursuant to Article X, Section 6-A of the Constitution of Virginia, the General Assembly exempted from taxation the real property, including the joint real property of husband and wife, of any Veteran who has been approved by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to have a 100% service-connected, permanent and total disability, and who occupies the real property as his/her primary place of residence.


The surviving spouse of a Veteran eligible for the exemption shall also qualify for the exemption, so long as the death of the Veteran occurred on or after January 1, 2011, the surviving spouse does not remarry and the surviving spouse continues to occupy the real property as his/her primary place of residence.


In order to receive this benefit the veteran is required to have a letter of disability from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (1-800-827-1000). The letter will have specific wording that is required by the Commonwealth of Virginia for this exemption. The letter will NOT be automatically provided to the veteran, he or she must request this letter. Virginia Form 21-4138 may be filled out and signed in the Commissioner of Revenue's office and faxed to the Veterans Affairs office to request the letter on your behalf.


The regional U. S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs office is located at 210 Franklin Road SW, Roanoke, Va. 24011.


When applying with the Commissioner of the Revenue for this exemption the veteran must bring: 


1. An original letter of disability issued by the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs;


2. Photo Identification; and

3. Proof of residence of occupancy - Voter Registration Card.


Surviving spouse should bring:


1. Approved and original letter of disability issued by the United States  Dept. of Veterans Affairs (in the event the veteran was not previously exempted from local real estate taxes);

2. Death certificate to confirm the date is subsequent to December 31, 2010;


3. A certificate of marriage from the appropriate State office of records;

4. Proof of residence occupancy - Voter Registration Card.

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.


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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.