The Veterans Administration has established new rules that affect eligibility for the VA Aid and Attendance program, which provides money for long term care services to qualifying veterans. These new rules went into effect on October 18, 2018 and create a revised asset limit and a method to impose a penalty period for an applicant who has given away assets during a 36 month period prior to applying for benefits.
Upon admission to a long term nursing home, the person being admitted is handed an admission packet of well over twenty pages. In that is an explanation of the patient’s “Bill of Rights,” established in federal and Connecticut law. This law applies to nursing homes, residential care homes, and chronic disease hospitals. That packet lets residents and their families know the limits of what such facilities can or cannot do.
Nearly everyone who has worked hard through much of their lives to pay off the home mortgage, and has raised their family in that home with all the memories that brings, has a desire to leave that home to the children. That human desire is most commonly expressed as “I don’t want my home to go to the nursing home.” Here are some thoughts on that.
Almost every week someone who needs to qualify for Medicaid (Title 19) asks, “Can’t I gift $13,000 to each of my children? I heard that this is allowed.” Or another person will say that their tax advisor told them they could gift $13,000 per year to each of their children and grandchildren. The tax advisor is correct. And it is also true that much more can be given without actually paying a gift tax, so that for many people in Connecticut, gift taxes simply do not apply to them.
Are you familiar with the term ” Observation Status“? When was the last time you were treated at a hospital? Hopefully never, but it is a reality that elders may find themselves in a hospital due to sudden decrease in mental function, perhaps due to a urinary tract infection, or due to a fall, or dehydration, or some other malady that requires emergency room attention and then several days of treatment in the hospital.
As the number of American senior citizens continues to rise, the need for good-quality, affordable long-term care plan options is greater than ever. For Americans of all ages, it can be difficult to determine the best way to plan for the future and ensure you will be well taken care of in old age. Since navigating through the intricacies of Medicare and Medicaid can be complicated, it is often wise to discuss your options with a skilled elder law attorney.