Social Security Disability &
  Special Needs Planning News from
 Sheri R. Abrams, Attorney at Law,
 Partner at Needham Mitnick & Pollack, plc

Picture of Sheri Abrams
In This Issue
Social Security Adds New Conditions to Compassionate Allowances Program
Social Security Administration Adopts Electronic Signatures for Medical Release Forms

Upcoming Events!  



Falls Church Education Foundation


NMP is pleased to sponsor the Falls Church Education Foundation's 8th Annual Dinner Gala on May 12 at the Hall of Flags in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  For more information, click here


Estate Planning & Life Transitions Seminar


Helen Cohn Needham will be speaking on "Planning for Incapacity" at the Seminar on May 19 at the United Methodist Church in Alexandria.


Gartlan Center---Formerly Mt. Vernon Center for Community Mental Health

Sheri Abrams will be speaking on Social Security and Trusts at the Gartlan Center on June 12.


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Issue: # 45April 2012
Picture of Social Security Card and Dice




Welcome to 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.


Social Security Adds New Conditions to Compassionate Allowances Program


Social Security LogoThe Social Security Administration has added 52 new conditions to its Compassionate Allowances Program, primarily involving neurological disorders, cancers and rare diseases.


The Compassionate Allowances program is designed to fast-track disability decisions so that claimants with the most serious disabilities receive their benefit decisions within days, instead of months or years.


According to Social Security, the Compassionate Allowances program has quickly approved disability benefits for nearly 61,000 people with severe disabilities in the past fiscal year, and nearly 173,000 applications since the program began.


Social Security launched the Compassionate Allowances program in 2008 with a list of 50 diseases and conditions. These 52 new conditions, effective in August 2012, will increase the total number of Compassionate Allowances conditions to 165. The conditions include certain cancers, adult brain disorders, a number of rare genetic disorders of children, early-onset Alzheimer's disease, immune system conditions, and other disorders.


New Compassionate Allowances Conditions:


Aicardi-Goutieres Syndrome

Alobar Holoprosencephaly

Alpers Disease

Alpha Mannosidosis

Carcinoma of Unknown Primary Site

Cerebrotendinous Xanthomatosis

Child Neuroblastoma

Child Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Chondrosarcoma with multimodal therapy

Cornelia de Lange Syndrome-Classic Form

Ewings Sarcoma

Follicular Dendritic Cell Sarcoma with metastases

Fucosidosis - Type 1

Galactosialidosis - Early Infantile Type

Glioma Grade III and IV

Hallervorden-Spatz Disease



Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome


Hypocomplementemic Urticarial Vasculitis

Hypophosphatasia Perinatal lethal Form

I Cell disease

Infantile Free Sialic Acid Storage Disease

Juvenile Onset Huntington Disease

Kufs Disease Type A and B


Lymphomatoid Granulomatosis Grade III

Malignant Brain Stem Gliomas-Childhood

Malignant Melanoma with metastases

Mastocytosis Type IV

Medulloblastoma with metastasis

Merkel Cell Carcinoma with metastases

Myocolonic Epilepsy

Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis 

Obliterative Bronchiolitis

Ohtahara Syndrome

Orthochromatic Leukodystrophy with Pigmented Glia

Pearson Syndrome

Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease Classic Form

Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease Connatal Form

Peripheral Nerve Cancer metastatic or recurrent

Perry Syndrome

Ragged Red Fibers Syndrome


Rhizomelic Chondrodysplasia Punctata

Schindler Disease Type 1

Smith Lemli Opitz Syndrome

Spinal Nerve Root Cancer- metastatic or recurrent

Stiff Person Syndrome

Tabes Dorsalis

Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome

Xeroderma Pigmentosum


For more information on the Compassionate Allowances

please click here.  


Social Security Administration Adopts Electronic Signatures for Medical Release Forms

Applying for Social Security disability benefits just became a little easier.


When a person applies for Social Security disability benefits, the agency conducts a disability review to determine if the applicant is actually "disabled" as defined by federal law. As part of this review, the Social Security Administration (SSA) contacts the applicant's doctors and other medical providers to discuss the applicant's medical history and to obtain important medical records that can be used throughout the disability determination process.


Since doctors and hospitals are not allowed to disclose a patient's medical information to anyone, even the government, without the patient's permission, the SSA requires all disability applicants to fill out a medical release form, commonly known as an SSA-827, which authorizes the SSA to obtain the required medical information from a medical provider and releases the provider from liability related to the release.


Up until now, the SSA has required applicants to print out the form and either mail it into the SSA or bring it into a local office.


Because this procedure often delays the disability application process (the SSA cannot process the application without the signed release in hand), the government has decided to allow applicants for disability benefits to electronically sign the SSA-827 online as an alternative to filing a paper copy.


Starting this month, adults with disabilities who are capable of signing their own medical release forms will be able to simply click and sign the SSA-827 as part of the application process.


According to the SSA, the new electronic signature option will reduce application processing time by an average of nine days.  






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.