A new website has been launched to help veterans appeal a denial of VA benefits on their own or request a free attorney to help with the appeal. The website, at vetsprobono.org, was launched by two organizations: the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program, which provides free legal counsel to veterans and their families, and Pro Bono.. read more →

Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) will present at the “Lawyer’s Guide to Veteran and Military Law” seminar given by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education on April 25, 2017 at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Mr. Vanarelli will provide an overview of pension benefits available through the Department.. read more →

Many attorneys create trusts, and some even create special needs trusts, often using pre-written templates.  So why, you may ask, do you really need an attorney whose practice focuses on special needs planning? It is important that special needs trusts not be unnecessarily inflexible and generic, which is what can happen with a “one size.. read more →

Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) will present at the 8th Annual Senior Lawyers Conference given by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education on April 3, 2017 at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Mr. Vanarelli will provide an overview of elder law planning in New Jersey, including a discussion.. 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 →

Most guardianship actions are not contested. The “typical” guardianship action proceeds as follows. Upon receipt of a filed Order Fixing Guardianship Hearing, the plaintiff must: Immediately serve the initial pleadings on the court-appointed attorney by personal service, certified mail, return receipt requested, or, if acceptable to the court-appointed attorney, via facsimile, email or regular mail… read more →

Why do some older adults remain mentally agile with excellent memory and attention span while others experience a decline in cognitive skills, subject to forgetfulness or dwindling attention span? A recent study by researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital attempted to answer that question, and discovered information that may be useful to readers.  In the study,.. read more →

Pension Benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for Non-Service Connected Disabilities The VA Pension is a disability benefits program available to compensate veterans for non-service-connected disabilities. Like the VA compensation program, the pension program is based upon disability. However, unlike the VA compensation program, the pension program is also based on income and.. read more →

Kaiser Health News has released a Medicaid Pocket Primer. The Primer explains what the Medicaid program is, the structure of the program, identifies those covered by Medicaid and the services provided through Medicaid, and discusses the impact of the Affordable Care Act on Medicaid, how beneficiaries access care, the Medicaid program’s impact on beneficiaries’ ability.. read more →

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Social Security Administration and other state and federal agencies have released the following important numbers for 2017. MEDICARE Medicare Part A deductible: $1316 for each benefit period. Medicare Part A co-payments for hospital stays: Day 1-60: $0 co-payment for each benefit.. 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 →

Question: Will the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recognize the cost of care provided by an unlicensed caregiver as an expense in determining the financial eligibility of an applicant for VA pension benefits? Answer: The VA WILL recognize the cost of care provided by an unlicensed caregiver as an allowable expense in determining the financial eligibility.. read more →

Powers of Attorney are common but often misunderstood estate documents in New Jersey and other states. A power of attorney is a legal document. When you sign a power of attorney, you appoint another person to serve as your agent (or “attorney-in-fact”). Legally, there are many duties and responsibilities imposed on an agent under a.. read more →

Last year, the National Senior Citizens Law Center (NSCLC), an important voice for low-income seniors for the past 43 years, launched a new name and tagline—Justice in Aging:  Fighting Senior Poverty Through Law. The focus of the organization continues to be advocacy and litigation to secure the rights of low-income seniors, and education and training of advocates.. read more →

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has released its SSI and Spousal Impoverishment Standards for 2017. SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME (SSI) SSI Federal Benefit Rate for an Individual: $735.00 SSI Federal Benefit Rate for a Couple: $1,103.00 Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) Limit: $1,170.00 (Blind SGA: $1,950.00) MEDICAID  Minimum Community Spouse Resource Allowance: $24,180 Maximum Community Spouse.. 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 →

President Obama has proclaimed November 2016 as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. The President has called upon the people of the United States “to learn more about Alzheimer’s disease and support the individuals living with this disease and their caregivers.” Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills.. 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 →

Medicare’s annual open enrollment period runs from October 15 to December 7–the period when enrollees can shop for new coverage. Now is the time to review your options to determine if you should switch plans. During Medicare’s annual open enrollment period, you may (1) enroll in a Medicare Part D (prescription drug) plan; (2) change your Part.. 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 →

Westfield, NJ – October 6, 2016 — Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) will participate in the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Elder & Disability Law Section Roundtable Discussion on Medicaid Appeals to be held on October 13, 2016 at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick, NJ. Mr. Vanarelli will present on “Appealing a.. read more →

New Jersey lawmakers reached an agreement on Friday, September 30th which, among other things, will phase out New Jersey’s state estate tax. The New Jersey estate tax exemption, presently $675,000, will increase to $2 million after January 1, 2017. The estate tax will then be eliminated after January 1, 2018. An official vote on an estate.. 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 →