A California court of appeals affirmed a jury award against the owner of a construction company who fraudulently induced a special needs trust trustee who was himself disabled to transfer title of the beneficiary’s family home to him, and that the conduct warranted punitive damages ten times the amount of compensatory damage award.  Haworth v… read more →

The Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) is a division of New Jersey’s Department of Human Services. The DDD provides public funding for certain services designed to assist eligible New Jersey adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, age 21 and older, to live as independently as possible. The DDD has developed a new resource for families.. read more →

A step-by-step guide to initiating a guardianship action in New Jersey follows. Documents To Be Filed: A guardianship action is initiated by submitting the following documents to the Surrogate for filing, with the required filing fee: Order Fixing Guardianship Hearing Verified Complaint Certification of Assets Certifications of Physician or Psychologist Case Information Statement Each of.. read more →

(On December 1, 2016, I moderated the first Advanced Special Needs Trust Symposium, an all-day event held at the New Jersey Law Center. In addition to moderating the panel of speakers, I also presented on the topic of the “Uses of Special Needs Trusts in Cases Involving Divorce.” Due to the length of my paper,.. read more →

(On December 1, 2016, I moderated the first Advanced Special Needs Trust Symposium, an all-day event held at the New Jersey Law Center. In addition to moderating the panel of speakers, I also presented on the topic of the “Uses of Special Needs Trusts in Divorce.” Due to the length of my paper, I divided.. read more →

On November 15, 2016, I presented at the Second Annual Caring for Caregivers Conference at the East Rutherford Community Center. The first section of my presentation focused on guardianship law in New Jersey, Public Benefit Basics, and the use of special needs trusts by parents of adult disabled children. The powerpoint slides from the first part.. read more →

On November 15, 2016, I presented at the Second Annual Caring for Caregivers Conference at the East Rutherford Community Center. The first section of my presentation focused on guardianship law in New Jersey, Public Benefit Basics, and the use of Special Needs Trusts by parents of adult disabled children. The powerpoint slides I prepared for.. read more →

East Rutherford’s Access for All Committee Hosts the Second Annual Caring for Caregivers Conference on Tuesday, November 15, 2016, from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the East Rutherford Community Center. At the upcoming Caring for Caregivers Conference, caregivers will be provided with critical information and resources that support the needs of their special needs or.. read more →

Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq., public schools must provide children with disabilities a “free appropriate public education.” When a school district cannot provide a student with an appropriate education, the IDEA mandates the school district must reimburse the family for the costs of sending their child.. read more →

Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) will present at the 2016 Elder Law College given by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education on December 14, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza, located at 690 Route 46 East, Fairfield, New Jersey. Mr. Vanarelli will provide an overview of New Jersey law concerning guardianships and conservatorships. For.. read more →

A U.S. district court denied a preliminary injunction to a Medicaid applicant who sued New Jersey to prevent the state from denying benefits based on her dead husband’s assets. Flade v. Connolly (U.S. Dist. Ct, D. N.J., No. 16-4407, Sept. 23, 2016). Plaintiff, Eileen Flade, was a nursing home resident. On April 12, 2016, plaintiff applied for.. read more →

“Graduates Timeline” Helps Students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Transition from School to Adulthood New Jersey’s Division of Developmental Disabilities, an agency within the Department of Human Resources, provides public funding for services and supports that assist New Jersey adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are aged 21 and older to live as independently as possible. The.. read more →

Question: Does a Section 529 educational savings plan account impact the eligibility of a minor receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits?  Are there any regulations governing such plans? Answer: Qualified Tuition Programs (QTPs), also referred to as Section 529 educational savings plans, allow individuals to contribute to an account established to pay a designated beneficiary’s.. read more →

A New York surrogate turned down a guardianship petition filed by the parents of a 34-year-old woman with Down syndrome, holding that courts should always seek to impose the least-restrictive terms of oversight that meet the needs of the person alleged to be incapacitated. Matter of Michelle M., 2016 NY Slip Op 51114(U) (Surrogate’s Court,.. read more →

M.L. is the co-guardian and mother of C.L., a disabled 25-year old man with autism and epilepsy. C.L. lives with his parents in their home. He receives support and funding from the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities (“DDD”) under their Self-Directed Services (“SDS”) program. Under the SDS program, he receives.. read more →

In 2014, Joseph Fabics filed a verified complaint seeking guardianship of his mother. The court appointed Ann Renaud, Esq. to represent Mrs. Fabics in connection with the action. The court-appointed attorney submitted a report to the court concluding that Joseph would be an unsuitable guardian, and recommending that Mrs. Fabics’s other son, Laszlo, be appointed.. read more →

I just read an insightful article in the Washington Post. The article, by Susan Berger, asks the question: “What’s the best way to talk to someone with Alzheimer’s?” It stems from an encounter between Berger and an acquaintance of hers who had just been diagnosed with the disease. The article explores what to do and.. read more →

Government Long-Term Care Benefits for NJ Residents 908-232-7400 The Law Office of Donald D. Vanarelli provides comprehensive Government Long-Term Care Benefits Legal Services throughout the State of New Jersey. See: http://vanarellilaw.com/medicaid-public-benefits-planning/ Elder Law topics covered in the video include Eligibility for Medicaid, Income and Resource Limits and Caps, Medicare Coverage, Home Health Aides, Home Health Care, Nursing Home.. read more →

I represented the 84-year old petitioner in P.R.-P. v. United Healthcare , a case in which we successfully appealed the reduction in her Medicaid personal care assistant (“PCA”) hours. The petitioner suffers from advanced Alzheimer’s disease, coronary artery disease, diabetes, congestive heart failure, kidney failure, renal failure, blindness, and bladder incontinence, among other things. She.. read more →

In this case, a New Jersey appeals court held that a disabled New Jersey resident eligible for Personal Care Assistance (PCA) services since 2009 was no longer eligible for PCA services under the Medicaid requirements. J.R. v. Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services, Docket No. A-0648-14T3 (App. Div.,  April 18, 2016 J.R. was diagnosed.. read more →

In general, Medicaid rules impose periods of Medicaid ineligibility (“penalty periods”) when a Medicaid applicant makes gifts of assets in an attempt to qualify for Medicaid. If a Medicaid applicant gifts assets within the 60-month “look-back” period, the applicant may be subject to a Medicaid penalty period, based on the value of the gift. Notably,.. read more →

The Alzheimer’s Association has issued its 2016 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report. The report is “a statistical resource for U.S. data related to Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia, as well as other dementias.” Aside from providing a definition of Alzheimer’s disease (“Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative brain disease and the most common cause of.. read more →

The New Jersey Law Revision Commission (“NJLRC”) is an independent legislative commission of the State that engages in an ongoing review of statutes and case law, in order to remedy defects and clarify confusing language in those statutes. The NJLRC is proposing a revision to the New Jersey statutes in order to codify the Supreme.. read more →

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently published new guidelines mandating that the agency issue detailed notices when individuals are determined to be ineligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits because of excess resources that include a countable trust. The public was notified of the new guidelines via internal agency instructions published in an Emergency Message… read more →

Readers of this blog know that applicants for public benefits often appeal the decisions made by the various administrative agencies involved in providing benefits. Applicants appeal for various reasons, usually based on the outright denial of benefits or an award of fewer benefits than anticipated. The appeals are considered and decided by administrative law judges.. read more →