Each year, many elders and their families face the prospect of transitioning to a nursing home. This can be a time of substantial emotional and logistical stress — and if not handled properly, it can also lead to a huge financial setback. Sadly, a large number of people end up paying for nursing home care out of their savings until they run out. That said, proper planning can help greatly ease the cost of a nursing home. Perhaps the single best way to keep costs manageable to is to apply and qualify for Medicaid. If you are currently in a state of medical need – either in a nursing home or will be potentially placed in a nursing home (or need long-term Home Care Based Services) in the near future – it cannot be stressed enough how critical timing and logistics are in order to avoid another month of high costs. At Drescher & Cheslow, we can help you plan for your future. Our Elder Law legal team has extensive experience helping clients qualify for Medicaid and choose the most cost-effective and secure routes for their elder care. The sooner we can take control of the timeline the better off you will be.
What is Medicaid?
Medicaid is a jointly funded, Federal-State health insurance program for low-income individuals and those in need of financial assistance. For those facing exorbitant nursing home costs, qualifying for Medicaid can greatly help in making payments manageable. While there are several ways to qualify for Medicaid, it is always helpful to hire a legal professional you can count on to ensure that you have the best chance possible for qualifying. Our team has experience helping individuals and families from varying financial backgrounds qualify for Medicaid.
While there are certain standards that must be met to qualify for Medicaid we understand that no two family’s situations are exactly alike — thus the avenues taken to qualify for Medicaid and financially plan with always be different. For instance, those who are not in immediate need of long-term care may be able to distribute or protect their assets in advance. This way, when they do need long-term care, they will quickly qualify for Medicaid benefits. Other factors that go into Medicaid planning include a client’s savings, property and marriage status, family support situation and more. At Drescher & Cheslow, we know how to navigate each of these situations to help our clients receive Medicaid benefits in their times of need.
While many people are unaware it exists, the Veterans Administration (VA) Aid & Attendance Special Pension Program provides financial aid to wartime veterans, and surviving spouses of deceased veterans, who need steady personal assistance. Qualifying aid or assistance can be provided at home, in an assisted living facility, or in a nursing home. If you or your loved one meets the requirements, the Aid & Assistance Pension Benefit could provide thousands of dollars each year to meet medical costs and provide necessary care.
Am I Eligible?
You must fulfill at least ONE of the medical requirements and ALL of the service and financial requirements to be eligible for the Aid & Attendance Pension.
- The Veteran requires the aid & attendance of another person in order to perform personal functions; OR
- The Veteran is bedridden; OR
- The Veteran is in a nursing home due to mental or physical incapacity; OR
- The Veteran is blind or nearly blind
- The Veteran must have served at least 90 days of active service;
- The Veteran cannot have a dishonorable discharge from service;
- The Veteran must have at least one day of service during a wartime period:
- World War II
- December 7, 1941, through December 31, 1946
- Korean Conflict
- June 27, 1950, through January 31, 1955
- Vietnam War
- August 5, 1964 (Feb. 28, 1961, for Veterans who served “in country” before Aug. 5, 1964), through May 7, 1975
- Persian Gulf War
- August 2, 1990, through date to be prescribed by Presidential proclamation or law.
- World War II
- Eligible Veterans or Surviving Spouses have monthly income that is less than the amount of their un-reimbursed medical expenses.
- There is no formal asset limit for the Aid & Attendance Pension. However, the Veterans Administration will apply a complicated calculation to determine whether the applicant has excess assets.
What Benefits Can I Get?
If you are eligible, you may be able to receive a monthly pension of up to: (costs from brochure)
- $2,126/month for a Married Veteran
- $1,794/month for a Single Veteran
- $1,153/month for a Widowed Spouse
This pension can be used to pay for many different typing of long-term care, including payment of family caregivers.
Year End (New Year) Resolutions
Too often clients come to me when they have their backs against the wall faced with a difficult situation. Whether it is mom or dad, your husband or wife, or your best friend, people tend to not look to the horizon when it comes to long-term care planning.
Have any questions?
Feel free to contact us, we’ll be glad to help!