Elder Law, Medicaid & Veterans’ Pension Benefits
Long Term Care & Asset Protection
Many questions will arise as you learn more about long term care and the legal planning process. Common questions include:
- What if I am uncertain about my future care needs?
- How do I plan for the unknown?
- How do I cover the costs?
- Which assets will be left for my spouse and children?
- What are the risks?
- What resources are available?
NC Planning can help answer all of these questions for you and your loved ones. When a loved one is suffering from the early stages of Dementia or Alzheimer’s, you should not have to worry about the cost of healthcare. However, with the rising cost of care, this is a very large concern for many families. The average cost of skilled nursing care is in excess of $6,000.00 a month. Few people can afford to pay the full cost of a long-term nursing home stay. Our team at NC Planning will develop a personalized asset protection strategy to minimize “out of pocket” expenses through the use of governmental benefit programs to maximize on one’s retirement savings.
We want each one of our clients to be able to receive the care he or she requires and to age in a manner in which he or she desires. There are several different governmental programs that are able to provide monetary assistance. Medicaid for the aged is a governmental program to assist the categorically needy with the cost of skilled nursing care. Special Assistance is a program that can assist with the cost of Assisted Living for certain individuals. Veteran’s Pension Benefits is also an excellent way to help pay for the cost of Assisted Living if applicable. The PACE program in North Carolina is for those individuals who are able to remain in their homes and receive skilled nursing care.
Whether you are engaging in pre-planning discussions or are in a crisis, please call our office to schedule a consultation to ensure you and your family are taking all of the right steps.
Medicaid Planning & Qualifications
Medicaid is a means and needs based program of the Federal government, which is administered at the State level. This program is designed for those that are impoverished and needing care. We will commonly hear of individuals that have simply “spent down” all of their assets are eligible for Medicaid. Consulting with one of our team members BEFORE spending down assets is essential to effective planning. Planning as early as possible for Medicaid is critical and it can mean hundreds of thousands of dollars saved.
The earlier one can plan for Medicaid is always better. Individuals should begin planning at least five years prior to needing skilled nursing care. If an individual is able to plan more than five years in advance and engage in what we call “prospective planning” then we are often able to protect the home from “State Medicaid Recovery” and avoid penalties for transfers. If one is in a crisis planning circumstance and skilled nursing care is needed in less than 5 years there are still planning tactics which can be implemented in an effort to save some assets for a surviving spouse or children.
In your consultation with an NC Planning Attorney we will perform a detailed analysis of your net worth, income and asset composition while discussing the level of care needed. One’s net worth is a critical item we will focus on when planning. These factors will enable us to have an in depth conversation regarding whether planning for Medicaid is right for you and your family.
Veterans’ Pension Benefits
The Veterans Administration provides monthly aid to qualifying veterans and their surviving spouses who meet certain criteria. This is a commonly utilized benefit to help defray the cost of in-home, assisted or skilled nursing care.
Many individuals that are 65 years of age may qualify and not even know that these benefits are available to them. This is NOT a benefit which is only available to those that were injured in combat. A veteran may qualify for this type of benefit and may not have ever seen a day of combat.
We have heard from several individuals that they were told by the VA that they have too many assets and will not qualify. However, when working together with an elder law attorney from the NC Planning team we may employ certain asset protection techniques to qualify and maximize on the benefits which are available.
In your consultation with an NC Planning elder law attorney, we will closely examine the net worth, income and medical needs of the veteran and his or her spouse to determine whether one could potentially qualify for benefits. If one is eligible, we will then have an in depth conversation regarding asset protection techniques to maximize on the benefits that are available.
For more resources in the area regarding senior care please visit A Place For Mom.