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
What Should A Social Security Representative Payee Do and Not Do?
How Does Medicare Affect TRICARE?

Upcoming Events!  



Woodburn Center

Sheri Abrams will be speaking on July 11, 2012 at 6:30 PM to the Family Focus Group at the Woodburn Center for Community Mental Health which is located at 3340 Woodburn Road, Annandale, VA 22003


Lupus Foundation of America

Sheri Abrams will be presenting a webinar on Social Security Disability Benefits as part of the "Lupus, Learn from the Experts" series of educational webinars.  This webinar will take place on Thursday, July 12th, 2012 from 2pm - 2:40pm Eastern Standard Time.


To register for this free webinar or for more information click here.


Arlington Special Education PTA Movie Event

NMP is please to be a sponsor of the Arlington Special Education PTA 2012 Movie Event on Saturday, June 23rd. The exclusive screening of Disney-PIXAR's movie Brave is for families with special needs children.


For more information click



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Issue: # 47June 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.


What Should A Social Security Representative Payee Do and Not Do?


Sometimes, people who receive Social Security Disability Benefits are not able to handle their own funds. In those cases, the Social Security Administration (SSA) appoints a family member, friend, or another individual or organization to handle their Social Security Disability benefits.
Responsibilities of a Representative Payee:
Some of the duties of a Representative Payee include:

Determining the beneficiary's total needs and using the Social Security Disability benefits received in the best interests of the beneficiary;

Having first hand knowledge of the beneficiary's needs and condition;

Applying the Social Security Disability Benefit payments only for the beneficiary's use and benefit;

Notifying SSA of any change in the beneficiary's circumstances that would affect performance of the Representative Payee's responsibilities; and

Reporting to SSA any event that will affect the amount of benefits the beneficiary receives and to give SSA an annual accounting of how  the benefits were used.
Essential Needs:
A Representative Payee must apply the payments for the use and benefit of the entitled individual. The funds should be spent on the beneficiary's current and reasonably foreseeable needs. The needs should be immediate and essential.
Examples of properly disbursed benefits are:

 Medical care and insurance
 Dental care
 Personal hygiene
 Rehabilitation expenses
If there are funds left over once the beneficiary's current needs are met, the representative payee must save and/or invest the remaining funds in trust for the beneficiary.
What Representative Payees Should NOT Do:
Representative Payees cannot:

Use a beneficiary's funds for their own personal expenses, or spend funds in a way that would leave the beneficiary without necessary items or services (housing, food and medical care);

Commingle the beneficiary's Social Security funds in the Representative Payee's or another person's account;

Keep funds once he or she is no longer a Representative Payee for the beneficiary; and

Charge the beneficiary a fee for services unless authorized by the Social Security Administration to do so.
Reporting Violations:
If you feel that a Representative Payee has in some way misused the benefits being issued for a beneficiary, you should contact the Social Security Fraud Hotline at 1-800-269-0271.


How Does Medicare Affect TRICARE?


For service members who are entitled to Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance), TRICARE provides Medicare "wraparound" coverage. Medicare is the primary payer for these beneficiaries, and TRICARE serves as a supplement, paying the Medicare deductible and patient cost share.

If you are entitled to Medicare Part A based on disability or permanent kidney failure, contact the Department of Defense to find out how this may affect your TRICARE benefits. You may need to be enrolled in Medicare Part B to keep your TRICARE coverage. For general information about TRICARE, please visit

Individuals who are awarded retroactive Social Security disability benefits may also become entitled to Medicare Part A for months before they receive their disability award notice.


Effective October 2009, TRICARE beneficiaries who are awarded retroactive benefits based on disability or permanent kidney failure do not have to pay for Part B for those months in the past in order to keep TRICARE.  You should, however, contact the Department of Defense to find out whether you would now need to enroll in Medicare Part B in order to keep your TRICARE.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 provides for a 12-month Medicare Part B special enrollment period for TRICARE beneficiaries who are entitled to Medicare Part A, but did not enroll in Medicare Part B during their initial enrollment period. The Department of Defense will notify eligible individuals about this period.

For more information about TRICARE and recent changes in the law, please visit:

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.  


Available for purchase at or you can download a free copy of the book   at our websites:  









Now Available For Nook & Kindle



"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 for the Nook



and the Kindle here.



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.