The ABLE Act Passes
Just before the Christmas holiday break, Congress passed, and then President Obama signed into law, the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (“the ABLE” Act). The ABLE Act allows people with disabilities to open special accounts, similar to 529 college savings plans. The interest
Home for the Holidays
Once again the holiday season is upon us, a time of joy but also stress. We often visit family members we haven’t seen in some time and that’s when changes in older loved ones become more noticeable. Some of the changes that may indicate your loved one needs
New Medicaid and VA Figures for 2015
Each year, many of the programs that, as elder law attorneys, we deal with daily, such as VA Aid and Attendance and Medicaid, are adjusted for inflation through a cost of living adjustment. In the past month the Social Security Administration announced that Social Security recipients will receive a 1.7% increase
When Doing it Yourself (Medicaid) Can Take You Only So Far
We got a call the other day from Joe. He had prepared and filed his mother’s Medicaid application himself. From what he told us, it sounded like he did a great job. He had hit a bit of a snag because Joe and his brother had been
Using Your Own Money to Pay for Long Term Care – the Better Way? Part 2
Last week I was talking about the difficulties in funding long term care through long term care insurance or Medicaid. Insurance companies are getting out of the long term care market entirely or drastically raising premiums. Medicaid, the primary government program that covers long term care, is still a
Using Your Own Money to Pay for Long Term Care – the Better Way?
As I always explain to people, there are 3 ways to pay for long term care. One way is to use your own money. A second source is long term care insurance and the third is government benefits – primarily Medicaid and the VA Aid and Attendance program. I
Turning Life Insurance into Long Term Care Insurance (Part 1)
For 20 years now, I’ve been guiding clients and their families on the spend down of assets before applying for Medicaid. Successful applicants must spend down just about everything before getting Medicaid approval, including any life insurance policies that have cash surrender value. For many seniors the cash surrender value of
Marriage and Medicaid
George called me concerning his step-mom, Rita. Rita is in the hospital but about to be transferred to a nursing facility where she will remain on a long term basis once Medicare coverage stops. The conversation quickly turned to Medicaid. George explained that Dad and Rita have been married 5 years.
Tax Fraud or Medicaid Penalty?
Joe called me because he had just taken over Dad’s finances and the management of care from his brother, Jim. That’s when he made a discovery that troubled him and caused him to reach out to us. Dad was still living at home alone but his health was declining. Joe began
NY Times Article on VA Aid and Attendance – Just a Little Misleading (Part 2)
Last week I was discussing the recent New York Times article, which profiled a World War II veteran, Henry Schaffer. Mr. Schaffer, according to the journalist, paid a VA accredited attorney to get him VA benefits, only to find out that he doesn’t qualify because his income is too high.