If you consume your resources paying privately for your home care, you could be financially forced into a nursing home when the funds run out. But, you can stay at home longer by using proven strategies to qualify for Medicaid home care benefits, which provide daily care up to and including a live-in caregiver! You also can qualify for Veterans’ Aid and Attendance Pension benefits to pay a cash pension of up to $1,788/mo for single veterans, $2,120/mo for married veterans and $1,149/mo for surviving spouses. Me
Medicaid and VA Asset Protection
You can protect your assets through transfers, trusts, annuities, and converting exposed assets to exempt assets, if you comply with specific rules. Appreciated assets (house, stocks) and tax-deferred assets [IRAs, 401(k)s], require careful planning to minimize capital gains and income taxes along the way. Advance planning (sometimes involving an Asset Protection Trust) is best but, if you already require care, you still can protect a worthwhile portion of your assets.
You can avoid Medicaid’s look-back period as well. Transfers of assets within five years of your Medicaid application result in penalty periods, but the penalty period is calculated based on the value of the assets transferred, and can be much shorter than the five-year look-back period. Also, you may be able to qualify for an exception (no penalty period) if you live with a family caregiver, have a disabled child, or transfer certain exempt assets. If you already need some assistance with daily activities, you can transfer assets and trigger your penalty period to run while your cost of care is relatively low, so you get Medicaid when you really need it!
Medicaid and VA Income Protection
Income can be protected as well. For Medicaid, couples can protect the healthy spouse’s income, and usually a portion of the ill spouse’s income for support of the healthy spouse. Medicaid home care recipients who are “over-income” can qualify by contributing the excess income through a Pooled Trust each month. For VA pension, excess income can be offset with medical expenses and costs of care, even care provided by a family member under a Personal Services Agreement.
Planning for Medicaid and VA Aid & Attendance through
Elder Care Lawyers in Danbury, CT
The rules for Medicaid (Title XIX, Title 19) and Veterans’ pensions are complicated and change frequently, and must be applied to your circumstances by an experienced advocate. Taking “advice” from your friend or neighbor can be catastrophic, because a little knowledge can be dangerous. Even if he worked with a lawyer, his plan was carefully developed for him based on his unique combination of assets, income, timeframe, tax considerations, etc. The only plan that will work for you is the one developed for you.