The 19th Annual Elder and Disability Law Symposium was held on November 9, 2017 at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick, NJ. As in past years, I presented the case law update at the opening plenary session. This year I summarized 40 elder and disability law cases decided from September 2016 through August.. read more →

A Superior Court judge in Ocean County dismissed a lawsuit filed by a nursing home for unpaid bills against a power of attorney appointed by a former resident, and ordered the nursing home to pay legal fees incurred by the power of attorney, ruling that the law prohibited the nursing home from requiring the power.. read more →

The House Republicans tax proposal introduced today ends the Medical Expense Deduction. This change will cause major harm to individuals and families trying to pay for the catastrophic costs of long-term services and supports (LTSS). About half (52%) of Americans turning 65 today will develop a condition that requires LTSS. Individuals needing LTSS are those.. read more →

After being denied Medicaid because of a $70,000 joint bank account she maintained with her son, the Medicaid applicant, S.M., appealed the case to An administrative hearing. S.M. argued that Medicaid had failed to consider that her son was the sole source of $60,000 of those bank funds. After the ALJ affirmed Medicaid’s denial, and.. read more →

The Genworth Cost of Care Survey has been the foundation for long term care planning since 2004. Knowing the costs of different types of care – whether the care is provided at home or in a facility – can help you plan for these expenses. According to Genworth, the 2017 survey is one of the.. read more →

A New Jersey appeals court held that a Medicaid application was properly denied when the applicant did not submit all the financial information and documents requested by the Medicaid agency. P.N. v. Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services (N.J. Super. Ct., App. Div., No. A-2025-15T2, July 28, 2017). P.N. resided in an assisted-living facility. Based.. read more →

As many hospital patients have discovered, there are huge financial implications when a hospital designates one of its patients as an outpatient on “observation status.” In order to receive Medicare coverage for a subsequent nursing home stay, Medicare requires that the patient first have a three-day inpatient stay. The “observation status” designation is an outpatient.. read more →

On August 10, 2017, I presented at the 2017 Sophisticated Elder Law Program on Medicaid litigation strategies. I provided an overview of various strategies and tactics which have been used successfully in litigation involving Medicaid and other needs-based public benefits in state and federal courts and in administrative agencies. I prepared a paper and PowerPoint slides.. read more →

Applying New Jersey’s filial support law, an appeals court in Pennsylvania affirmed a decision denying a Pennsylvania residential facility’s effort to hold the elderly New Jersey parents of an adult resident liable for the unpaid balance of his specialized services. Melmark v. Schutt (Pa. Super., No. 2253 EDA 2016, July 19, 2017). New Jersey resident Alexander (Alex).. read more →

A U.S. district court ruled that a group of Medicaid applicants do not have a private right of action to sue the state for not issuing Medicaid eligibility determinations with 45 days and that the applicants were not denied due process by the delay. Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society, Inc. v. Randol  (U.S. Dist. Ct., D… read more →

Medicaid is a joint federal and state program created under Title XIX of the Social Security Act of 1965. It provides a source of funding for long-term care to those aged, blind and disabled individuals who qualify financially.  42 U.S.C. §1396 et seq.; N.J.A.C. 10:71-1 et seq. Eligibility for Medicaid is based upon financial need. For.. read more →

In this case, the Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services (DMAHS), New Jersey’s state Medicaid agency, affirmed the denial of a Medicaid application filed by Grace M. Vinci (G.V.) by the Monmouth County Division of Social Services (MCDSS) finding that G.V. had resources in excess of $2,000 available to her, namely, resources contained in.. read more →

The New York Times, June 15, 2017 The Opinion Pages | Editorial Daughters Will Suffer From Medicaid Cuts Nearly one in five adult children at some point provide care for at least one elderly parent, according to a new study by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. The burden is particularly demanding for.. read more →

Reversing a lower court, Massachusetts’ highest court ruled that two Medicaid applicants’ trusts were not available assets even though the applicants retained the right to use the houses that were put into the trusts. Daley v. Secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (Mass., No. SJC-12200, May 30, 2017) and Nadeau v. Director of the Office.. read more →

New Jersey’s Medicaid rules are complicated, and always changing. One such change in the rules occurring on a regular basis is the State Medicaid agency’s amendment to the Medicaid program’s “penalty divisor.”  On May 12, 2017, a Medicaid Communication, or notice from the agency, was released by New Jersey’s Division of Medical Assistance and Health.. read more →

Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) will present at the “2017 Sophisticated Elder Law” seminar given by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education on August 10, 2017 at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Mr. Vanarelli will provide an overview of strategies and tactics which have been used successfully in litigation.. read more →

The needs-based pension program from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) 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 need, and the veteran’s disability.. read more →

In 2013, a settlement was reached in Jimmo v. Sebelius, Docket No. 11-cv-17 (D.Vt., January 18, 2011), a nationwide federal class-action lawsuit. Under the settlement, Medicare coverage rules changed significantly. Prior to the settlement, a decades-old practice, called the “improvement standard,” required beneficiaries to show medical or functional improvement before Medicare would pay for covered.. read more →

New Jersey’s ABLE law (the acronym is short for “Achieving a Better Life Experience”) went into effect a few months ago, in October 2016.  Under the new law, New Jersey’s Department of Human Services and the Department of the Treasury are required to establish the ABLE Program pursuant to federal law. Persons who became disabled.. read more →

New Jersey’s Division of Consumer Affairs (DCA) released a Consumer Brief on Medicaid Advisors/Application Assistors. Medicaid Advisors/Application Assistors are non-lawyers who provide limited services without payment or compensation in connection with Medicaid applications. According to the DCA Consumer Brief, the limited services which Medicaid Advisors/Application Assistors may perform include the following: providing information on insurance.. read more →

The Social Security Administration (SSA) published two final regulations that will have significant impacts on the disability determination process for those applying for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits and those applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits on the basis of disability. The first set of regulations, Revisions to Rules Regarding the Evaluation of Medical.. read more →

With thanks to the Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging at Hunter College / CUNY, attached below is the 2017 BENEFITS CHECKLIST for Older Adults in New York, showing Health and Income Programs for Residents of New York State. For additional information concerning Medicaid and public benefits planning, visit: https://vanarellilaw.com/medicaid-public-benefits-planning/ 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 →

In Simonsen v Bremby(2d Cir., No. 16-204-cv, Feb. 15, 2017), the daughter/Medicaid applicant filed suit in federal court and sought a preliminary injunction barring Medicaid from imposing a penalty period as a result of trusts established for her benefit by her mother. The two third-party trusts were considered as available resources by Medicaid, and when.. read more →

As 2007 began, Arthur Brown, who was then seventy-eight years old, and his wife, Mary, lived together in a jointly-owned condominium. Several months later, Arthur began living in an assisted living facility. The following year, Arthur was admitted into a nursing home after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Soon thereafter, Arthur applied for nursing.. read more →