Medicaid and VA Asset Protection Trust Planning
Protecting and Expanding Your Life Care Planning Options in Utah
At the Salt Lake City law firm of Alder Law Group, P.C., our attorneys advise families concerned about the care of themselves or their aging parents during an extended period of incapacity, typically during the years of fixed income following retirement. To learn about the best ways to plan for and finance extended care on satisfactory terms, contact us for a free consultation.
UTAH MEDICAID AND VA BENEFITS PLANNING: CALL (801) 463-2600
For most middle-class families, Medicaid will represent the most important single source of support for people interested in alternatives to nursing home placement to support a period of disability, limited mobility or assisted living needs. Medicaid is a means-tested program, however, and many people are surprised to find that they have too much net worth to qualify for Medicaid assistance. Meanwhile, they cannot afford the cost of high-quality nursing assistance or residence at a desirable assisted living center.
Our objective is to help families preserve Medicaid eligibility through effective long-term asset management planning. If you get an early start, you can plan for the possibility of applying for Medicaid assistance, all on terms that protect your Medicaid eligibility while protecting assets you wish to pass on to your heirs from the Medicaid spend down.
The biggest catch is that any transfer that reduces your net worth according to the Medicaid formula will be ignored for eligibility purposes if it took place within five years of the time of need. We therefore recommend that people begin to plan for future incapacity or assistance needs while they have time to do so effectively, which usually also coincides with the years of peak earning power.
Long-term care insurance is often the best approach for financing future needs, but few people young enough to afford it think to acquire it while it's inexpensive. Our experience with elder law and Medicaid planning helps families in all situations find solutions to the problems associated with paying for extended care.
PLANNING FOR VA BENEFITS
There are now over 25 million US veterans eligible for some type of Veteran's Administration (VA) benefits, many of whom have no idea Aid and Attendance pension benefits exist.
What is Aid & Attendance?
Aid and Attendance is a "special monthly pension" available to wartime veterans or surviving spouses of wartime veterans. Aid and Attendance is not actually a stand-alone benefit. Rather, it is an additional allowance that a veteran or surviving spouse who is already entitled to certain VA pension benefits (because of his or her wartime service and non-service-connected disability) may additionally be entitled to upon meeting certain medical and financial requirements.
The attorneys at Alder Law Group are registered VA specialists who can help you find out if you or a family member may qualify for Aid and Attendance benefits.
In order to qualify for these benefits, a veteran or surviving spouse must first be eligible for what the VA refers to as regular pension. Regular pension is available when a wartime veteran (one with 90 days of active duty, and at least one day beginning or ending during a period of War) has limited income and assets and suffers from a non-service-connected permanent and total disability. In some circumstances, being over the age of 65 may qualify a claimant without the need to show a disability. Our attorneys are able to assess your situation and advise you as to whether benefits may be available to you.
To learn more about your options for preserving benefits eligibility at any stage of your life, contact a knowledgeable Salt Lake City attorney at Alder Law Group.