Alzheimer’s Presentation

Alzheimer’s Presentation

On April 2, 2020 my office is making a presentation to the Connecticut Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. It will provide professionals with information on programs to provide care for those with Alzheimer’s, but everyone with a loved one suffering from the disease can benefit from this summary.

Medicaid has the most comprehensive program for in home care. The applicant must
miss three activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring, or eating), or have a need for daily supervision to prevent harm or need medication supports. A company hired by the Connecticut Department of Social Services evaluates the needs and a determination is made on functional eligibility, and how much the state will pay for care. At the high end, Medicaid can pay up to $5945 per month. In some cases, that could be 24-hour care.

There is also an asset test. The home, up to $893,000 is exempt. So is one car that can be used for medical transportation and a funeral contract up to $10,000, plus items such as casket or vault. The applicant must have less than $1600 of countable assets.

If the applicant has joint accounts, they still count totally as the applicants. If the applicant is married, the rules are drastically different, because federal laws prevent the “impoverishment” of the healthy spouse. These rules can be complicated, but if used properly, the average husband and wife can protect all their assets and qualify for Medicaid. The healthy spouse can keep the house, the car, the prepaid funeral contracts and one half of the countable assets, but not more than $128,640. But other laws allow the healthy spouse to use the money above $128,640 to buy a single premium immediate annuity and that money will no longer be a countable asset. But there is a downside. The law requires the annuity to name the state as the beneficiary upon the healthy spouse’s death, so a good part of that money could end up going to the state.

There are many other exceptions to the rules to protect assets too numerous to explain here, but one example is the disabled child rule. It allows a gift of any amount to a child of any age who is disabled. These and other rules if properly understood and used, could result in 24-hour care at home, while still preserving all the family’s assets which the healthy spouse needs to live on.

Knowing how the state applies these rules and taking the proper steps to satisfy them are the key to getting care and not wiping out a lifetime of savings. This summary does not cover other Connecticut programs and a VA program called Aid and Attendance that have different eligibility rules and pay different amounts for care. There are dozens of variations and hundreds of individual scenarios, so if care is needed due to Alzheimer’s, act as you would if serious surgery was needed, and get help from an expert who has the training and experience to get payment for the care.
Attorneys Stephen O. and Halley C. Allaire are partners in the law firm of Allaire Elder Law.
Attorneys Stephen O. and Halley C. Allaire are members of the National Academy of Elder Law. Attorneys, Inc.
Allaire Elder Law is a highly respected, and highly rated law firm with offices in Bristol, CT.
We can be contacted by phone at (860) 259-1500 or by email.

If you have a question, send a written note to us and we may use your question in a future column.

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