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:



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
What Do I Do If I Am Denied Social Security Disability Benefits?
Problems Faced by Voters with Disabilities

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Issue: # 50September 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 Do I Do If I Am Denied Social Security Disability Benefits?


Social Security Disability DenialAppeal!

Many people with both physical and mental disabilities become disheartened and frustrated after they receive a Social Security Disability denial notice, and they do not appeal. This is often a mistake. Nationally, about 75% of all applicants are denied initially and about 90% are denied at the first appeal stage--Reconsideration. But many of these people ultimately receive their benefits--nationally, about 70%.  By working with an experienced attorney, your chances of receiving Social Security Disability benefits dramatically increases. 
What may be most frustrating about applying for Social Security Disability benefits is the process itself. Those who apply are often made to feel like they are asking for something that they do not deserve, and nothing could be further from the truth.  Social Security Disability is not a welfare program; these benefits are paid for by you and were intended to act as a financial buffer in case you or a family member became seriously ill or injured. Therefore, if you are unable to work, but you have been denied benefits, you should appeal. 

For more information on Social Security Disability benefits, please
click here.


Problems Faced by Voters with Disabilities


Vote EmblemEvery citizen has the right to vote regardless of whether he or she has some form of a disability. However, in many parts of the country polling places are inaccessible. In fact, the Federal Election Commission reports that, in violation of state and federal laws, more than 20,000 polling places across the nation are inaccessible, depriving people with disabilities of their fundamental right to vote.


In many parts of the country polling booths are set in church basements or in upstairs meeting halls where there is no ramp or elevator.  In other places there is no disabled parking, or doorways are too narrow.  All this means problems not just for people who use wheelchairs, but for people using canes or walkers too. And in most states people who are blind do not have the right to a secret Braille ballot; they have to bring someone along to vote for them.


Locally, the Fairfax County Office of Elections has been working to accommodate voters with disabilities.


In Fairfax County Virginia:


All polling places are wheelchair accessible.


Every polling place is equipped with touch screen voting machines, also known as direct recording electronic (DRE) machines. These touch screen machines are designed to provide voters with disabilities the ability to cast their votes unassisted.


The light-weight, touch screen voting machines can be removed from the booth to accommodate disabled voters or those unable to stand or reach the machine in the booth.


Each touch screen voting machine is equipped with an audio headset that enables voters with visual impairments to cast a secret ballot without assistance.


Voters who cannot enter the polling place because of physical limitations have the option of voting curbside, using either the touch screen voting machine, or by paper ballot. They should send someone in to the polls on their behalf to ask an election officer to bring a voting machine or paper ballot out to the car.


Each polling place has a magnifying device available for voters who may have difficulty reading the paper or touch screen ballot. The touch screen voting machines are also equipped with a "zoom" function which allows the voter to view a larger presentation of the ballot.


The availability of accessible voting equipment does not obligate a voter to use the equipment. Any voter who needs assistance in casting a ballot because of physical or educational disabilities is entitled to request assistance. The voter may bring an assistant with him or her into the voting booth, or ask an election official to assist.




Best Lawyers In America


Needham Mitnick & Pollack, PLC, partners Helen Cohn Needham & Sheri R. Abrams have been selected to be included in the 2012 Edition of Best Lawyers in America.


Helen was selected in the field of Elder Law--Trusts & Estates, and Sheri in the field of Elder Law--Social Security Disability.


Selection for Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive and rigorous peer-review survey comprised of more than 4 million confidential evaluations by the top attorneys in the country.


The annual Best Lawyers publication has been described by The American Lawyer as "the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice." Because no fee or purchase is required, being listed in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor.



For more information on Best Lawyers in America, please click 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.