Archive for the ‘Long Term Care’ Category
New 2013 Income and Resource Limits for Arizona Long Term Care System (ALTCS) are announced
For 2013, the following are the income and resource limits for ALTCS eligibility:
|ALTCS Eligibility:||GROSS MONTHLY INCOME LIMIT||COUNTABLE
|Married Applicant||$2,130.00 paid to applicant only, or $4,260.00 combined spousal income*||The non-applicant spouse (i.e., the community spouse) may keep ½ the total countable assets owned by both spouses as of the first month in which the applicant spouse meets medical eligibility criteria, which may not exceed $116,920.00 and will be no lower than $23,184, plus an additional $2,000.00.|
|*Income Only Trust may be used in certain circumstances to qualify applicants whose incomes exceed this amount.||All applicants may keep certain non-countable assets in addition to the above described countable resources. Non-countable assets are generally a primary residence, vehicle, certain burial plots/plans, personal goods and household effect, and certain small life insurance policies.|
As always, if you are considering seeking ALTCS benefits you should seek advice of an elder law attorney with knowledge and experience in such matters. Careful planning can save you real assets, money, and valuable time!
Have You Been Denied For ALTCS Benefits? You Are Not Alone. Over 70% of people who apply are denied. This is why you should use an experienced attorney to apply for ALTCS benefits.
Over 70% of people who apply to ALTCS for benefits are denied! There are generally three reasons why persons are denied: (1) over income limit; (2) over resource limit; and (3) failure to meet medical criteria. Hiring an experienced elder law attorney means you r ALTCS application will be approved, while positioning assets prior to application to preserve and protect as much as possible, including avoiding AHCCCS estate recovery and lien claims. A denial means you will have to pay out of pocket for long term care longer losing both time and valuable money. The average cost of nursing home care is approximately $6,500 per month. Seeking appropriate legal advice regarding how to qualify and apply for ALTCS benefits is a great investment.
At Bivens & Associates we have 14 years of experience and have successfully submitted over 500 ALTCS applications. We have the experience and track record to guarantee results. Plus, the first hour consultation is free! The only risk is going it alone with ALTCS.
The New Private Pay Rate for Maricopa, Pima and Pinal counties is $6,646.35, and the balance of the state is $5,282.23. What does this mean? ALTCS uses the Pay Rate when calculating the period of ineligibility created when ALTCS applicants gift or transfer assets within 5 years of applying for ALTCS. For example, if the ALTCS applicant his/her spouse residing in Phoenix transferred $50,000.00 within 5 years of applying to ALTCS that transfer has to be disclosed. ALTCS then calculates the resulting penalty period by dividing the amount transferred ($50,000.00) by the relevant private pay rate (now $6,646.35), and will not approve ALTCS benefits for 7.5 months beginning the month of application. Note, there are some exceptions to imposition of a transfer penalty such as transfers to a spouse, disabled child, or transfers not made for the purpose of qualifying for ALTCS benefits.
If you are considering applying for ALTCS, you should seek the advice of experienced elder law attorney who can assist you in properly protecting assets. The best method to protect assets may or may not include gifts or transfers.
ALTCS Myth #4: ALTCS Approved Facilities are Run Down and Not Good Enough for my Mom, Dad or Spouse
Arizona has many safe, clean, quiet, and odorless care facilities where you or your loved one can receive ALTCS care. Persons receiving ALTCS can also reside in their own homes and there are many residential care homes that are ALTCS approved.
“I know ALTCS will take my home.” Nearly every person who comes into our office to discuss ALTCS has heard the myth that ALTCS will always take your home.
So what is fact?
While ALTCS has the ability to put a TEFRA lien against real property, and can collect against an individual’s estate, in many instances you can protect your home property in the event you or your loved ones are applying for ALTCS.
Learn more about TEFRA liens and estate recovery here (http://bivenslaw.com/altcs#house), and schedule an appointment to find out if you can prevent estate recovery or a TEFRA lien.
Submitted by Emily Taylor, J.D.
VA AID & ATTENDANCE PENSION BENEFITS UPDATE: S. 3270 BILL INTRODUCED TO ENACT LOOK-BACK and PENALTY PERIODS FOR GIFTS MADE 3 YEARS PRIOR TO APPLICATION.
Senate Bill 3270, introduced by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) on June 6, 2012 would add a 3 year look-back for VA benefits. The new law would require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to look back 36-months for any uncompensated transfers that a veteran, spouse, surviving spouse or child otherwise eligible for a pension may have made.
The bill was filed after a GAO report was issued that found abuses among a small group of attorneys and financial planners who help veterans transfer assets in order to qualify for VA pension benefits like Aid and Attendance.
Under the bill, the look-back period would begin on the date of the pension application or the transfer, if it is later. The legislation calls for the imposition of a penalty period if an uncompensated transfer has been made, and the penalty would be calculated by dividing the value of the transferred resources by the amount of the monthly pension the claimant would otherwise be entitled to. The penalty could not exceed 36 months.
A pension will not be denied if transferred assets are returned or if the denial or discontinuance of payment would work an undue hardship.
If enacted, the legislation would take effect one year after enactment and apply to pensions applied for or re-determinations after that date.
Link to the bill: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/s3270/text
At present, there is no such look-back or penalty period which allows veterans and their widows more options to protect their assets, and qualify for VA Aid & Attendance Pension benefits to help pay for assisted living and related care expenses. Whether or not this particular Bill passes, it is clear that there will likely be some implementation of look-back and/or penalties in the future. If you or a loved one is a veteran, widow of a veteran, and reside in assisted living, receives home health care, or is concerned about these expenses in the future, now is the time to take action and schedule an appointment with Bivens & Associates PLLC.
AHCCCS (Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System) has announced the new 2012 income and resource eligibility criteria for the Arizona Long Term Care System (ALTCS) program.
Income limits: If single, the ALTCS applicant may not have more than $2,094 in gross monthly income (up from $2,022.). If married, the applicant spouse will qualify if his/her gross monthly income is not more than $2,094 per month, or the total income of both spouses is not more than $4,188.00. Note, however that if income exceeds these base limits the applicant may still be income eligible with the use of an Income Only Trust (aka Miller Trust).
Countable Resource Limits: If single, the countable resource limit remains at $2,000. If married, Minimum Community Spouse Resource Deduction will be $22,278 (up from $21,912), and the Maximum Community Spouse Resource Deduction will be $113,640 (up from $109,560).
These changes will be in effect 1/1/2012.