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
Can a Student Loan be Discharged Because of a Disability?
Social Security To Add Adult Huntington's Disease to Compassionate Allowances Program
Lupus Foundation Presentation Was Sold-Out

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Issue: # 48July 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.


Can a Student Loan be Discharged Because of a Disability?


The average college student (graduate and undergraduate) leaves school with a tremendous amount of student loan debt. Repayment of student loans has always been difficult, but with the economy the way it is, many graduates are struggling to pay back their loans. Some people who are unable to work because of their disabilities are beyond the ability to pay back their loans.


Fortunately, people with disabilities can apply for disability discharges of student loans from the following programs: Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL), Perkins Loans, William D. Ford Federal Direct Loans (Direct Loans), and Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants.


To qualify for a disability discharge, a borrower must show that they have a physical or mental impairment that will either result in death or has lasted or will be expected to last more than 5 years. (Different, less stringent rules apply to Veterans with disabilities.) The borrower's doctor must submit paperwork to the U.S. Department of Education certifying the borrower's condition and, if approved, the loan will be conditionally discharged.


Once a loan is conditionally discharged, the borrower must not engage in employment that results in income exceeding the federal poverty rate for a family of two for the next three years. Once the three-year period has passed, the loan will be completely discharged.


While no one likes to default on a debt, if a borrower cannot repay a student loan due to disability, they should promptly apply for a disability discharge so that the funds they would use toward loan repayment can be used towards their medical care.


Social Security To Add Adult Huntington's Disease to Compassionate Allowances Program


The Social Security Administration has announced that it will add Huntington's Disease to its Compassionate Allowances program for adults by the end of the year.


Huntington's disease is a genetic disorder that affects muscle coordination and leads to severe memory and psychiatric problems. It is usually diagnosed in mid-adult life and is hereditary. Huntington's Disease is the most common genetic cause of abnormal involuntary writhing movements called chorea, which is why the disease used to be called Huntington's choreaHuntington's Disease is progressive and always fatal.


Singer/songwriter Woody Guthrie died of Huntington's Disease, as did his mother and two of his children.


Compassionate Allowances are a way of quickly identifying diseases and other medical conditions that invariably qualify under the statutory standard for disability. The Compassionate Allowances program fast-tracks disability decisions to ensure that Americans with the most serious disabilities receive their benefit decisions within days instead of months or years after submitting an application for benefits.


For more information on the Compassionate Allowances, please click:


Lupus Foundation Presentation Was Sold- Out


Lupus Foundation of America LogoSheri Abrams' webinar on Social Security Disability and Lupus was held on Thursday July 12th. This webinar was part of the Lupus Foundation of America's --- Lupus: Learn from the Experts webinar series.


This webinar attracted a sold-out audience of 500 participants.


Slides from this webinar can be accessed by clicking 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.  


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.