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

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NMP Newsletter


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In This Issue
Social Security Announces New Compassionate Allowances Conditions
FEMA Offers Assistive Technology to Help People with Disabilities Access Disaster Information

Upcoming Events:




 February 7th to the 14th


Needham Mitnick & Pollack is proud to partner with the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia as they present the 2nd Annual ReelAbilities: Greater DC Disabilities Film Festival which presents award-winning films by and about people with disabilities.


For more information please visit



January 5, 2013


NMP Attorney, Angela Griffith, will be speaking on Estate & Incapacity Planning to the Caregivers Support Group at Arden Courts of Annandale on Saturday, January 5, 2013 at 10 amArden Courts is located at 7104 Braddock Road, Annandale, Virginia.


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Issue: # 53December 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 Announces New Compassionate Allowances Conditions


Social Security LogoFast Track Disability Process Will Now Include 200 Conditions.


The Social Security Administration has announced 35 additional Compassionate Allowances conditions bringing the total number of conditions in the expedited disability process to 200.


Compassionate Allowances are a way to quickly identify diseases and other medical conditions that, by definition, meet Social Security's standards for disability benefits.


The 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.


These conditions primarily include certain cancers, adult brain disorders, and a number of rare disorders that affect children.


By definition, these conditions are so severe that Social Security does not need to fully develop the applicant's work history to make a decision. As a result, Social Security eliminated this part of the application process for people who have a condition on the list.


Social Security has held seven public hearings and worked with experts to develop the list of Compassionate Allowances conditions. The hearings also have helped the agency identify ways to improve the disability process for applicants with Compassionate Allowances conditions.


New Compassionate Allowances Conditions:


1. Adult Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
2. Adult Onset Huntington Disease
3. Allan-Herndon-Dudley Syndrome
4. Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma
5. Aplastic Anemia
6. Beta Thalassemia Major
7. Bilateral Optic Atrophy - Infantile
8. Caudal Regression Syndrome - Types III and IV
9. Child T-Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma
10. Congenital Lymphedema
11. DeSanctis Cacchione Syndrome
12. Dravet Syndrome
13. Endometrial Stromal Sarcoma
14. Erdheim Chester Disease
15. Fatal Familial Insomnia
16. Fryns Syndrome
17. Fulminant Giant Cell Myocarditis
18. Hepatopulmonary Syndrome
19. Hepatorenal Syndrome
20. Jervell and Lange-Nielsen Syndrome
21. Leiomyosarcoma
22. Malignant Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor
23. Malignant Germ Cell Tumor
24. MECP 2 Duplication Syndrome
25. Menkes Disease - Classic or Infantile Onset Form
26. NFU-1 Mitochondrial Disease
27. Non-Ketotic Hyperglcinemia
28. Peritoneal Mucinous Carcinomatosis
29. Phelan- McDermid Syndrome
30. Retinopathy of Prematurity - Stage V
31. Roberts Syndrome
32. Severe Combined Immunodeficiency - Childhood
33. Sinonasal Cancer
34. Transplant Coronary Artery Vasculopathy
35. Usher Syndrome - Type I


For more information on the Compassionate Allowances Initiative, please visit:








FEMA LogoFive new tools to help people who are deaf, hard of hearing or blind are being used for disaster response by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).


At disaster recovery centers, survivors who are blind or have low vision are using text-to-speech software and a variety of magnifiers to access FEMA information. Survivors who are deaf or hard of hearing are offered enhanced listening devices, iPad 3s with real-time-video remote sign language interpreting apps, and captioned phones to get disaster recovery information accessible to them.


These five assistive technology tools are part of a kit that costs FEMA less than $4,000. For price comparison, a single sign-language interpreter at one disaster recovery center can cost more than $400-a-day. (Federal law mandates that equal access to effective communication be available the entire time that a recovery center is open, usually eight hours daily.) On-site interpreters are available upon request, but for immediate access, interpreters are provided via on-line Wi-Fi and cellular connections, similar to Skype.


The five new tools at each disaster recovery center are:

  • iPad 3 - this device has many apps to provide enlarged text for people with low vision, picture symbols for people with low literacy or communication disabilities, immediate access to sign language interpreters for people who are deaf and many other tools for immediate communication access.
  • Magnifying Readers - Enlarges text for people with low vision.
  • Enhanced Listening Devices - improves the clarity of sound for people who are hard of hearing, especially helpful for older adults in noisy settings like a Disaster Recovery Center.
  • Live Video Interpreting - provides immediate access to sign language interpreters standing by at a remote location to provide access to people who are deaf.
  • Captioned Phones - provide real-time voice-to-text for people who can speak on the phone but cannot hear the caller on the other end. 









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.

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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 here.


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.