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

Picture of Sheri Abrams
Upcoming Events:

Legal Day:


Sheri Abrams will be participating in the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's Legal Day event on September 8, 2012 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This program is available to people living with MS and their family members to address MS-related legal issues. Attorneys will be providing freehalf-hour consultations. To register and for more information, click here.


RADical Moms:


On September 22, 2012 at 7:00 p.m., Sheri Abrams will be speaking to a group known as RADical Moms (named for the Reactive Attachment Disorder acronym). RADical Moms are a group of 100+ families in the DC/VA/MD area with challenging adopted children. RADical Moms normally meet one Saturday night per month and have been doing so for the past 4 years in the McLean area. For information on this speaking engagement or RADical Moms in general, please call Marianne Voight at 703-847-0218.


Circle of Support Conference:


Sheri Abrams will be conducting a workshop at the Arc of Greater Prince William's Circle of Support conference on Saturday, November 3, 2012. The conference runs from 8:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. The workshop will focus on the "Ins and Outs of Social Security Disability and SSI Benefits." The event is for families of children with special needs and the professionals who work with them. For more information click here.


In This Issue
The Basics of Social Security Disability Insurance
Social Security Issues New Disability Ruling on Fibromyalgia

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Issue: # 49August 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.


The Basics of Social Security Disability Insurance


Social Security LogoSocial Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is one of the major federal programs that provides financial assistance to people with disabilities. Unlike some other programs for people with disabilities (like Supplemental Security Income (SSI), an SSDI claimant can qualify for benefits no matter how much money they have or how much money they make from sources other than work.


SSDI is available to any worker who has a "disability" as defined by the federal government and who has paid into the Social Security system for a specified amount of time, depending on their age.


In order to qualify for benefits, in most cases, an SSDI claimant must show that they are unable to work at any job whatsoever. The claimant must have a physical or mental impairment that makes it impossible for them to engage in any "substantial gainful activity," and this impairment must be expected to last for longer than one year or to result in death.  If a claimant is able to engage in substantial gainful activity, then they will not be eligible for SSDI. 


The Social Security Administration defines "substantial gainful activity" as being able to earn more than $1,010 a month from working. This income restriction applies only to income earned by working; an applicant can receive any amount of unearned income from any source other than working and still qualify for SSDI. 


How much the SSDI benefit will be depends on the amount the claimant paid into the Social Security system. 


For more information on Social Security Disability Insurance, click here.



Social Security Issues New Disability Ruling on Fibromyalgia


The Social Security Administration (SSA) has issued a new ruling that should make obtaining Social Security Disability benefits for those suffering from Fibromyalgia easier.


Fibromyalgia is a long-term illness marked by body pain and tenderness in the joints, muscles, tendons and other soft tissues. Fatigue, sleep problems, headaches, depression and anxiety may also be signs of Fibromyalgia.


On July 25, 2012, SSA issued Social Security Ruling (SSR) 12-2p on the evaluation of Fibromyalgia in disability claims.  This ruling states that Fibromyalgia is a medically determinable impairment when it is established by appropriate medical evidence and that it can be the basis for a finding of disability.   A claimant who alleges disability based on Fibromyalgia must have a diagnosis by a licensed physician (medical or osteopathic doctor) and evidence of the criteria from either "the 1990 American College of Rheumatology Criteria for the Classification of Fibromyalgia" or "the 2010 American College of Rheumatology Preliminary Diagnostic Criteria."


Specifically, SSR 12-2p clarifies what Social Security requires in order to find that Fibromyalgia is a medically determined impairment.


There are now two ways to prove Fibromyalgia:



1)   History of widespread pain and axial skeletal pain persisting at least 3 months, 11 of 18 tender points positive by palpitation at 9 pounds of pressure, and evidence that something else is not causing the symptoms;




2)  A history of widespread pain and repeated manifestations of at least 6 Fibromyalgia symptoms including fatigue, waking unrefreshed, IBS, cognitive or memory problems (Fibro fog), depression, anxiety, as well as other symptoms.



For more information on SSR 12-2p, please click here.




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.



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.