Monday, January 9, 2017

Is it ethical for an Elder Law Attorney to have his fees paid by a client’s daughter, while preparing documents that benefit that daughter?

Today’s Elder Care Matters Q&A discusses ethical behavior of Elder Law Attorneys


Question:  Is it ethical for an Elder Law Attorney to have his fees paid by a client’s daughter, while preparing documents that benefit that daughter: I found out that my sister is paying all of my dad’s legal fees, for an attorney to prepare documents for her to buy property from him at a very discounted amount, and also created an assignment of claims for her to sue another family member on my dad’s behalf, where she would be the one to benefit the most if they win.

My dad is 77 years old, in a rest home, and has signs of dementia. My dad told us she is paying “all” of the lawyers fees. 


Answer: This is a very complex issue that is not uncommon for Attorneys practicing in the area of Elder Law. Frequently a large portion of the interaction about an elderly Client’s matters are handled by a designated child or third party. This is just the reality of dealing with someone who has failed to plan properly and no longer has the energy or physical ability to actively participate in every step of the process. The payment of legal fees for someone else is also not uncommon. Children frequently pay for the planning and documents for their elderly parents because they are the ones who will be left to deal with the problems.


The question implies possible lack of capacity because he is 77 and showing signs of dementia. First capacity is generally a legal determination not a medical one, whether legal capacity exists depends also upon what they are doing, as there are many forms of capacity. Age or a diagnosis of an illness do NOT establish lack of capacity. Each type of legal capacity has set elements which must be met to determine capacity.


The disparity in treatment in types and amounts of bequests is also very common especially with the elderly. Unlike a younger couple who make equal distributions, the elderly frequently change that division. Whether it is because one child has spoken to them in 10 years, one child has been using them as the bank forever, one child loves them but sees them infrequently because they live far away, or one child lives nearby and does their shopping, takes them to all their doctor visits, helps them deal with matters they no longer wish to do; there are many reasons for an unbalanced division.


In my office, in most types of cases we make it clear from day 1 that we represent the senior not the children. As a matter of course, my office takes precautions to prevent actual or the appearance of undue influence or lack of capacity. So if the senior proposes a radical shift from prior plans, has received a diagnosis of dementia or other illness or shows signs of loss of cognitive ability, or if the family relation is volatile, then we provide letters for the senior’s physician to complete where the physician is required to give an opinion on the senior in regard to each of the required elements of capacity. At the time of the first meeting we always spend a good portion of the meeting with just the senior, and the attorney and a third member of the firm’s staff will take down notes and observations. At that point we asks questions designed to find factors suggesting potential undue influence, lack of capacity or a variance or uncertainty in regard to the senior’s distributive plan.


If we are comfortable that the senior has capacity and the plan presented is what the senior desires, then we will go forward with the plan but will also include specific separate written acknowledgements of any actual or appearance of conflict of interest, undue influence or lack of capacity which must be signed by the senior, other relevant family members, and usually a member of my firm.


So while on the face of it your facts appear to suggest some undue influence by your sister, I would talk to her or to your father and discuss your concerns. Perhaps the Attorney is skilled in the area and has taken proper safeguards to make sure the plan is what your father wants and is not being controlled by your sister. If you cannot resolve it directly, then you should immediately retain an experienced Elder Law Attorney to assist you in determining and implementing the appropriate action whether it is an out of Court resolution or to bring an emergency guardianship proceeding to prevent your sister from continuing any undue influence and to have the Court determine any document prepared to be of no effect. If there is evidence indicating that the prior Attorney knowingly assisted your sister in any improper conduct, then file the appropriate complaint before your State Attorney ethics Board.


Today’s Answer was provided by James C. Siebert, Esq., in Arlington Heights, Illinois.  Attorney Siebert is a Partner Member in the National ElderCare Matters Alliance.


21 “Mobile Friendly” Elder Care / Senior Care Directories


If you need help in planning for and/or dealing with this issue or with any Elder Care / Senior Care matter, you can find the professional help you need in one of the following 21Mobile Friendly” Elder Care / Senior Care Directories. These Elder Care / Senior Care – specific Directories are sponsored by the National ElderCare Matters Alliance, an organization of thousands of America’s TOP Elder Care / Senior Care Professsionals who help families plan for and deal with a wide range of Elder Care Matters.



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Is it ethical for an Elder Law Attorney to have his fees paid by a client’s daughter, while preparing documents that benefit that daughter?

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

THE TOP 10 LEGAL DOCUMENTS EVERYONE NEEDS

This week’s article about Legal Documents was written by Debra K. Schuster, M.H.A., J.D., from St. Louis, Missouri.


Attorney Schuster is a Partner member of the national ElderCare Matters Alliance.




Everyone hates going to the dentist. However, if you don’t go, bad things can happen that may have been prevented if you had gone. The same is true with having legal documents created. You may say to yourself, “Well, I see your point, but I can go on the internet and create documents for myself using one of the do-it-yourself legal websites that are a lot less expensive (and don’t require an appointment) than what a lawyer will charge me.


Ok. But would you do your own dental work?


Now that this is out of the way, there are 10 legal documents that all adults (people over the age of 18) need.


Drum Roll Please:


  1. Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care. This document allows you to name who you want to make health care decisions for you when you are unable to do so for yourself. (During surgery, if you have an incapacitating illness, are unconscious from an accident or traumatic incident)

  2. Living Will. This documents stands on its own, in that it expresses your end-of-life treatment wishes to whatever health care provider (hospital, doctor, etc) reads it. You can state that you want all, some or no artificial means of maintaining your life (i.e., ventilator, CPR, dialysis, surgery, etc) when you are at the end of your life.

  3. Financial Durable Power of Attorney. This documents allows you to appoint who you want to make financial decisions for you (pay bills, enter into contracts for goods and services for you, handle your insurance and all assets you own) if you are determined by your doctor to be unable to handle your financial decisions yourself. VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: Choose a person who is financially secure and responsible to serve in this role. It is very tempting to someone who is not financially stable to dip into your money (“I am just borrowing this money – I’ll pay it back) at a time when every cent should be used for your care.

  4. Beneficiary Deed. If you own real estate, you should have this type of deed created to name who you want to inherit your real estate (home, timeshare, vacation home, empty lot) when you die. If you do not have a beneficiary deed (or your property is not held in a trust), it will end up in probate.

  5. Beneficiary designations. ON EVERYTHING – life insurance, money market accounts, IRAs, 401K and other retirement accounts, stocks, bonds, etc.

  6. HIPAA authorization. This is the form allows you to name who you want to be able to contact your doctor, hospital, any health care provider to obtain information and discuss your care when you are still making your own health care decisions (for example, if you have just had a root canal, if your adult child wants to call your dentist to request a prescription for pain medication)

  7. POD and TOD designations. Banks allow you to make Pay Upon Death designations on your checking and savings accounts with a Pay Upon Death (POD) card naming who you want to inherit the account balance when you die; The Department of Motor Vehicles has a Transfer Upon Death form (TOD) to enable you to name who you want to inherit your vehicle when you die.

  8. Digital Asset Inventory. You should create and keep an up-to-date a list of ALL on-line accounts, reward programs, passwords, financial and bill pay sites, social media, professional organization profiles, etc. to enable your family to manage your on-line presence when you are incapacitated and die.

  9. Last Will and Testament. This is a document that allows you to name who you want to handle your affairs after you die (your “Personal Representative”) and to explain how you want your assets distributed after you die. A WILL DOES NOT KEEP ASSETS OUT OF PROBATE – YOU MUST MAKE BENEFICIARY, TOD AND POD DESIGNATIONS ON EVERYTHING!

  10. Personal Property Memorandum. This is a legal document you CAN create yourself that lists personal, non-monetary, sentimental or family heirlooms you want to specifically pass to identified individuals when you die. This list should be attached to your Last Will and Testament.

(11. I know I said 10, but there is a #11 – a Trust. There are many different types of trusts with varying uses, but the most common type of trust is the Revocable Living Trust that allows you to title almost all of your assets in the name of your trust (other than IRAs, retirement accounts and bonds) so these assets will be handled by the person you name as Trustee according to the instructions in your trust. Not everyone needs a trust – so long as they make beneficiary designations on everything. However, when properly funded and handled, a trust keeps all of your assets out of probate and allows you to be as creative and detailed as you wish regarding when and how you want your property distributed after you die (for example, to delay when an 18-year-old can receive a large inheritance).


So, go see your dentist and a lawyer now to have these documents prepared to make sure you are ready if/when you need to use them.



21 “Mobile Friendly” Elder Care / Senior Care Directories


If you need help in planning for and/or dealing with this Elder Care Matter or with any Elder Care / Senior Care issue, you can find the professional help you need in one of the following 21Mobile Friendly” Elder Care / Senior Care Directories. These Elder Care / Senior Care – specific Directories are sponsored by the National ElderCare Matters Alliance, an organization of thousands of America’s TOP Elder Care / Senior Care Professsionals who help families plan for and deal with a wide range of Elder Care Matters.


  1. ElderCareMatters.com

  2. ElderCareMattersBlog.com

  3. ElderCareWebsites.com

  4. ElderCareAnswers.us

  5. ElderCareArticles.us

  6. ElderCareProfessionals.us

  7. ElderLawAttorneys.us

  8. EstatePlanningAttorneys.us

  9. FindDailyMoneyManagers.net

  10. FindElderCareMediators.net

  11. FindElderLawAttorneys.net

  12. FindEstatePlanningAttorneys.net

  13. FindGeriatricCareManagers.net

  14. FindHomeCareProviders.net

  15. FindLongTermCareInsurance.net

  16. FindMedicaidAttorneys.net

  17. FindProbateAttorneys.net

  18. FindSeniorLivingCommunities.net

  19. FindSeniorMoveManagers.net

  20. FindSpecialNeedsAttorneys.net

  21. FindVAAccreditedAttorneys.net

#eldercare, #seniorcare, #eldercarematters, #seniorcarematters, #eldercarearticles, #seniorcarearticles, #eldercarematters, #elderlawattorneys




THE TOP 10 LEGAL DOCUMENTS EVERYONE NEEDS

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

People with Disabilities Will Soon Be Able to Create Their Own Special Needs Trusts

This week’s article about Special Needs Trusts was written by Sheri R. Abrams, Esq., from Oakton, Virginia.


Attorney Abrams is a Partner member of the national ElderCare Matters Alliance.



The Special Needs Trust Fairness Act, federal legislation that will allow people with disabilities to create their own special needs trusts instead of having to rely on others, has passed the Congress. The measure was included in the 21st Century Cures Act, a $6.3 billion package of health-related initiatives that has now been sent to President Obama for his expected signature.


The Fairness Act, introduced in 2013 by Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.), will fix an especially frustrating drafting error in the Social Security Act that has prevented people with disabilities from creating special needs trusts to hold their own funds. Under current law, only a parent, grandparent, guardian or court can establish a first-party special needs trust to hold the beneficiary’s assets. This forces a competent person with disabilities to incur unnecessary expenses and waste time to set up a trust that she could otherwise create on her own with the help of an attorney. In most cases, not setting up a special needs trust is not an option, since the trust is typically needed to protect a person with disabilities’ access to government benefits.


The Special Needs Trust Fairness Act inserts language into the Social Security Act to give individuals with special needs the same right to create a trust as a parent, grandparent, guardian, or court. If competent to do so, they can now create a trust on their own behalf using their own assets. The two-sentence bill makes no other changes to the Social Security Administration’s treatment of trusts and it does not alter the requirement that first-party trusts contain payback provisions allowing state Medicaid offices to recoup costs from a trust after the beneficiary’s death. The Fairness Act will apply to trusts established on or after the date that the Cures Act is enacted.


A special needs trust should still be set up only with the help of a qualified attorney.


21 “Mobile Friendly” Elder Care / Senior Care Directories


If you need help in planning for and/or dealing with this Elder Care Matter or with any Elder Care / Senior Care issue, you can find the professional help you need in one of the following 21Mobile Friendly” Elder Care / Senior Care Directories. These Elder Care / Senior Care – specific Directories are sponsored by the National ElderCare Matters Alliance, an organization of thousands of America’s TOP Elder Care / Senior Care Professsionals who help families plan for and deal with a wide range of Elder Care Matters.


  1. ElderCareMatters.com

  2. ElderCareMattersBlog.com

  3. ElderCareWebsites.com

  4. ElderCareAnswers.us

  5. ElderCareArticles.us

  6. ElderCareProfessionals.us

  7. ElderLawAttorneys.us

  8. EstatePlanningAttorneys.us

  9. FindDailyMoneyManagers.net

  10. FindElderCareMediators.net

  11. FindElderLawAttorneys.net

  12. FindEstatePlanningAttorneys.net

  13. FindGeriatricCareManagers.net

  14. FindHomeCareProviders.net

  15. FindLongTermCareInsurance.net

  16. FindMedicaidAttorneys.net

  17. FindProbateAttorneys.net

  18. FindSeniorLivingCommunities.net

  19. FindSeniorMoveManagers.net

  20. FindSpecialNeedsAttorneys.net

  21. FindVAAccreditedAttorneys.net

#eldercare, #seniorcare, #eldercarematters, #seniorcarematters, #eldercarearticles, #seniorcarearticles, #eldercarematters, #specialneedsattorneys




People with Disabilities Will Soon Be Able to Create Their Own Special Needs Trusts

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

5 Reasons Elderly Adults Should Know Their Family Health History

This week’s Elder Care article was written by Frank L. Henderson, Owner of Heart of the Carolinas Homecare in Mauldin, South Carolina.  Mr. Henderson is a Partner member of the national ElderCare Matters Alliance.


5 Reasons Elderly Adults Should Know Their Family Health History



Understanding your family heritage, traditions, and culture are important because they give you an idea of where you come from and what family members before you have done to celebrate holidays. Knowing your health history is also important because it gives you an idea of what health problems you, your elderly parent, and other family members are at risk for. Your family history does not only include any illnesses or health problems your current relatives have, but also those that ancient ancestors have developed.


As your parent gets older, they are at risk for developing a number of health problems. Knowing what health issues they may develop will help their doctor make more efficient diagnoses. If your loved one still is unsure of what information their family health history holds, here are five reasons they should find out.


1.    Understand the risks


By doing a little digging to find out of what health challenges their ancestors have suffered from, the elder will have a better idea of what they have an increased chance of developing. Knowing this information will also give the senior more motivation to take preventative measures against the illness.


2.    Makes the doctor appointments quicker


Especially when attending an appointment with a new doctor, there will most likely be a number of forms that need to be filled out in order to get a better idea of what medical conditions the senior is at risk for. By having a formal family health history recorded, this information will be readily available when needed. This will free up a great deal of time filling out a stack of paperwork at the appointment.


3.     Allergies are easier to diagnose


From being gluten or lactose intolerant to being allergic to certain ingredients in medications, pinpointing whether or not the elder is suffering from an allergic reaction can be a difficult task. But by discovering if there is an allergy in the elder’s family, they will have a better chance of finding out if they are allergic to the same thing their ancestors were.


4.      Discover any dangerous behaviors that run in the family


Does alcoholism or drug abuse run in the family? If so, you and the elder have a higher chance of developing the same unhealthy behaviors compared to those who do not have a family history of it.


5.        Determine if psychological disorders are present in the family history


Aside from finding out what physical ailments you should be concerned by, psychological disorders can also be discovered through family health history research.


Finding all of the information needed for the senior’s family health history can be difficult to do alone. Yet, with the help of a senior care provider, they will be able to get a better idea of what conditions they may be at risk for.


21 “Mobile Friendly” Elder Care / Senior Care Directories


If you need help in planning for and/or dealing with this Elder Care Matter or with any Elder Care / Senior Care issue, you can find the professional help you need in one of the following 21Mobile Friendly” Elder Care / Senior Care Directories. These Elder Care / Senior Care – specific Directories are sponsored by the National ElderCare Matters Alliance, an organization of thousands of America’s TOP Elder Care / Senior Care Professsionals who help families plan for and deal with a wide range of Elder Care Matters.


  1. ElderCareMatters.com

  2. ElderCareMattersBlog.com

  3. ElderCareWebsites.com

  4. ElderCareAnswers.us

  5. ElderCareArticles.us

  6. ElderCareProfessionals.us

  7. ElderLawAttorneys.us

  8. EstatePlanningAttorneys.us

  9. FindDailyMoneyManagers.net

  10. FindElderCareMediators.net

  11. FindElderLawAttorneys.net

  12. FindEstatePlanningAttorneys.net

  13. FindGeriatricCareManagers.net

  14. FindHomeCareProviders.net

  15. FindLongTermCareInsurance.net

  16. FindMedicaidAttorneys.net

  17. FindProbateAttorneys.net

  18. FindSeniorLivingCommunities.net

  19. FindSeniorMoveManagers.net

  20. FindSpecialNeedsAttorneys.net

  21. FindVAAccreditedAttorneys.net

#eldercare, #seniorcare, #eldercarematters, #seniorcarematters, #eldercarearticles, #seniorcarearticles, #eldercarematters




5 Reasons Elderly Adults Should Know Their Family Health History

Monday, November 28, 2016

Who may act as an agent under a Power of Attorney?

Today’s Elder Care Matters Q&A discusses the importance of selecting an Agent under Power of Attorney


Question:  Who may act as an agent under a Power of Attorney?


Answer: In general, an agent, or attorney in fact, may be anyone who is legally competent and over the age of majority.  Most individuals select a close family member such as a spouse, sibling or adult child.  However, any person such as a friend or a professional with an outstanding reputation for honesty would be ideal.  You may appoint multiple agents to serve either simultaneously or separately.  Appointing more than one agent to serve simultaneously can be problematic because if any one of the agents is unavailable to sign, action may be delayed.  Confusion and disagreement between simultaneous agents can also lead to inaction.  It is usually more prudent to appoint one individual as the primary agent and nominate additional individuals to serve as alternate agents if your first choice is unwilling or unable to serve.


Today’s Answer was provided by Nancy Burner, Esq., in East Setauket, New York.  Attorney Burner is a Partner Member in the National ElderCare Matters Alliance.


21 “Mobile Friendly” Elder Care / Senior Care Directories


If you need help in planning for and/or dealing with this issue or with any Elder Care / Senior Care matter, you can find the professional help you need in one of the following 21Mobile Friendly” Elder Care / Senior Care Directories. These Elder Care / Senior Care – specific Directories are sponsored by the National ElderCare Matters Alliance, an organization of thousands of America’s TOP Elder Care / Senior Care Professsionals who help families plan for and deal with a wide range of Elder Care Matters.



#eldercarematters, #eldercare, #eldercareanswers, #seniorcareanswers,  #eldercaredirectories, #seniorcaredirectories, #findseniorcareprofessionals, #findseniorcareexperts, #elderlawanswers, #seniorcare, #seniorcarematters, #findeldercareprofessionals, #findelderlawattorneys, #findestateplanningattorneys, #findvaaccreditedattorneys, #findmedicaidattorneys



Who may act as an agent under a Power of Attorney?

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Part B Premium Will Rise Slightly for Most Medicare Beneficiaries in 2017

This week’s Elder Care article was written by Chad R. Oldham, Esq., from the Oldham Law Firm in Jonesboro, Arkansas.  Attorney Oldham is a Partner member of the national ElderCare Matters Alliance.


Medicare Part B Premium Will Rise Slightly for Most Beneficiaries in 2017



The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid has announced the Medicare premiums, deductibles, and coinsurances for 2017. After holding steady at $104.90 a month for four years, the standard Medicare Part B premium that most recipients pay will rise 4 percent to about $109 a month.  However, approximately 30 percent of beneficiaries will see their Part B premium rise from $121.80 to $134 a month, a 10 percent increase.  Meanwhile, all beneficaries will face a higher Part B deductible, which will go from the current $166 to $183 in 2017.


The reason for the two different Part B premiums is that about 70 percent of beneficiaries are protected from any increase in premiums when Social Security benefits remain stagnant, as has been the case for the last several years. Medicare beneficiaries who are unprotected from a premium rise include those enrolled in Medicare but who are not yet receiving Social Security, new Medicare beneficiaries, seniors earning more than $85,000 a year, and “dual eligibles” who receive both Medicare and Medicaid benefits.


For beneficiaries receiving skilled care in a nursing home, Medicare’s coinsurance for days 21-100 will inch up from $161 to $164.50.  Medicare coverage ends after day 100.


Here are all the new Medicare payment figures:


  • Basic Part B premium: $109/month (was $104.90)

  • Part B premium for those not protected: $134 (was $121.80)

  • Part B deductible: $183 (was $166)

  • Part A deductible: $1,316 (was $1,288)

  • Co-payment for hospital stay days 61-90: $329/day (was $322)

  • Co-payment for hospital stay days 91 and beyond: $658/day (was $644)

  • Skilled nursing facility co-payment, days 21-100: $164.50/day (was $161)

So-called “Medigap” policies can cover some of these costs.


Higher-income beneficiaries will pay higher Part B premiums:


  • Individuals with annual incomes between $85,000 and $107,000 and married couples with annual incomes between $170,000 and $214,000 will pay a monthly premium of $187.50 (was $170.50).

  • Individuals with annual incomes between $107,000 and $160,000 and married couples with annual incomes between $214,000 and $320,000 will pay a monthly premium of $267.90 (was $243.60).

  • Individuals with annual incomes between $160,000 and $214,000 and married couples with annual incomes between $320,000 and $428,000 will pay a monthly premium of $348.30 (was $316.70).

  • Individuals with annual incomes of $214,000 or more and married couples with annual incomes of $428,000 or more will pay a monthly premium of $428.60 (was $389.80).

Rates differ for beneficiaries who are married but file a separate tax return from their spouse:


  • Those with incomes between $85,000 and $129,000 will pay a monthly premium of $348.30 (was $316.70).

  • Those with incomes greater than $129,000 will pay a monthly premium of $428.60 (was $389.80).

The Social Security Administration uses the income reported two years ago to determine a Part B beneficiary’s premiums. So the income reported on a beneficiary’s 2015 tax return is used to determine whether the beneficiary must pay a higher monthly Part B premium in 2017. Income is calculated by taking a beneficiary’s adjusted gross income and adding back in some normally excluded income, such as tax-exempt interest, U.S. savings bond interest used to pay tuition, and certain income from foreign sources. This is called modified adjusted gross income (MAGI). If a beneficiary’s MAGI decreased significantly in the past two years, she may request that information from more recent years be used to calculate the premium.


Those who enroll in Medicare Advantage plans may have different cost-sharing arrangements.  The average Medicare Advantage premium is expected to decrease slightly, from $32.60 on average in 2016 to $31.40 in 2017.


21 “Mobile Friendly” Elder Care / Senior Care Directories


If you need help in planning for and/or dealing with this Elder Care Matter or with any Elder Care / Senior Care issue, you can find the professional help you need in one of the following 21Mobile Friendly” Elder Care / Senior Care Directories. These Elder Care / Senior Care – specific Directories are sponsored by the National ElderCare Matters Alliance, an organization of thousands of America’s TOP Elder Care / Senior Care Professsionals who help families plan for and deal with a wide range of Elder Care Matters.


  1. ElderCareMatters.com

  2. ElderCareMattersBlog.com

  3. ElderCareWebsites.com

  4. ElderCareAnswers.us

  5. ElderCareArticles.us

  6. ElderCareProfessionals.us

  7. ElderLawAttorneys.us

  8. EstatePlanningAttorneys.us

  9. FindDailyMoneyManagers.net

  10. FindElderCareMediators.net

  11. FindElderLawAttorneys.net

  12. FindEstatePlanningAttorneys.net

  13. FindGeriatricCareManagers.net

  14. FindHomeCareProviders.net

  15. FindLongTermCareInsurance.net

  16. FindMedicaidAttorneys.net

  17. FindProbateAttorneys.net

  18. FindSeniorLivingCommunities.net

  19. FindSeniorMoveManagers.net

  20. FindSpecialNeedsAttorneys.net

  21. FindVAAccreditedAttorneys.net

#eldercare, #seniorcare, #eldercarematters, #seniorcarematters, #eldercarearticles, #seniorcarearticles, #medicarearticles




Part B Premium Will Rise Slightly for Most Medicare Beneficiaries in 2017

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

If a veteran is well can the spouse get VA Aid and Attendance benefits to help with home or assisted living care?

Today’s Elder Care Matters Q&A discusses VA benefits


Question: If a veteran is well can the spouse get VA Aid and Attendance benefits to help with home or assisted living care?


Answer:  The short answer is no. While the Veteran is living the claim is technically his and based on his health. However there is a very narrow sort of exception that can help a lot of families.


If the Veteran is over 65 he is considered “disabled” by definition and he might qualify for the base pension amount if the combined income of the husband and wife is below $1380 per month. With SS benefits and a small pension few couple’s combined monthly incomes are that low. Here’s where the Aid and Attendance application comes into play because the couple’s income is computed AFTER all unreimbursed reoccurring medical expenses. So say a couple has a monthly income of $3500 with private-in-home care costs of $2500 per month. Medicare premiums costs the couple $190 per month and other non-reimbursed medical expenses are $310 per month. What is left over for the Veteran and Spouse to live on is only $500 per month. If their non-exempt assets are low enough the couple will qualify for VA assistance. A home, one car and household goods are exempt assets. Technically the assistance would come from the Low Income Pension program and could be over $12,000 per year in this example. In 2010 the max allowed by the Low Income Pension program was $1291 per month or $15,493 per year for a veteran with a dependent spouse. These amounts change slightly from time to time.


In order for the Spouse’s assisted living or care expenses to be approved medical expenses, the Spouse must be examined by a doctor and Form 21-2680 must be filled out by the doctor and turned in with the Examination for Housebound Status or Permanent Need for Regular Aid and Attendance application Form 21-2680 with supporting documentation on the unreimbursed medical expenses.


If you call the VA about potential benefits you will be asked about the amount of your combined household income and if your combined income is above the maximum limit the VA will likely tell you that you are not eligible for any benefits. However because of the above referenced deductions you and your spouse are eligible!


A couple where one spouse is highly likely to enter a nursing home might be better served meeting with an elder law attorney to determine if they can qualify for Medicaid.


Working with a certified VA attorney is a good idea.


Today’s Answer was provided by Linda Farron Knapp, Esq., in Barnwell, South Carolina.  Attorney Knapp is a Partner Member in the National ElderCare Matters Alliance.


21 “Mobile Friendly” Elder Care / Senior Care Directories


If you need help in planning for and/or dealing with this issue or with any Elder Care / Senior Care matter, you can find the professional help you need in one of the following 21Mobile Friendly” Elder Care / Senior Care Directories. These Elder Care / Senior Care – specific Directories are sponsored by the National ElderCare Matters Alliance, an organization of thousands of America’s TOP Elder Care / Senior Care Professsionals who help families plan for and deal with a wide range of Elder Care Matters.



#eldercarematters, #eldercare, #eldercareanswers, #seniorcareanswers,  #eldercaredirectories, #seniorcaredirectories, #findseniorcareprofessionals, #findseniorcareexperts, #elderlawanswers, #seniorcare, #seniorcarematters, #findeldercareprofessionals, #findelderlawattorneys, #findestateplanningattorneys, #findvaaccreditedattorneys, #findmedicaidattorneys



If a veteran is well can the spouse get VA Aid and Attendance benefits to help with home or assisted living care?