People receiving support through New Jersey’s Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) are able to choose the agency through which they will receive support coordination services. A Support Coordination Agency assigns a Support Coordinator to work with the disabled individual and his/her family. The Support Coordinator works closely with clients to identify their needs, and then,.. read more →

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published new guidance for day centers and the people with disabilities they serve during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The guidance comes in two documents — one aimed at administrators and staff and another for participants and their caregivers — that were issued in March 2021. The new guidance indicates.. read more →

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced that the tax deduction for medical expenses includes amounts spent on face masks, hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes and related equipment, as long as the primary purpose for the purchase was to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Specially, the IRS announcement states that: [A]mounts paid for personal protective equipment,.. read more →

A webinar on financial protection of older adults during the COVID pandemic was held on February 23, 2021. The webinar provided tips to avoid vaccine-related scams and information on resources available to older adults. A recording of the webinar is now available for on-demand viewing, and can be accessed on this blog below. The webinar.. read more →

G.S. is a 24 year-old woman diagnosed with bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. G.S. took medication for her mental health issues, attended therapy, and lived in a group home for people diagnosed with mental illness. In 2015, G.S. applied for and was granted Medicaid benefits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). G.S. did.. read more →

Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) will present at a ZOOM Webinar on February 10, 2021 at 7:00 PM along with Spectrum Care Management and Counseling, LLC, a support coordination agency. Mr. Vanarelli will speak on planning to attain eligibility for Medicaid benefits from New Jersey’s Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services, and how Medicaid.. read more →

New York was the only state that didn’t have a look-back period for Medicaid home care, but that is now changing. New York Medicaid applicants will no longer be eligible for home care if they gave away assets within 30 months of applying. Medicaid, unlike Medicare, is a public benefit program based upon financial need,.. read more →

E.H., a 78 year old female, received $1,471.50 in monthly social security benefits. On April 1, 2019, E.H.’s checking account, contained $1,991.78. On April 4, 2019, E.H. applied for benefits under New Jersey’s Family Care Aged, Blind and Disabled Medicaid program. As part of her Medicaid application, E.H. submitted a pre-paid burial contract. Although pre-paid.. read more →

The Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act of 2018 (Strengthening Protections Act) amended the Social Security Act to allow for the advance designation of representative payees for recipients of Social Security and other governmental benefits. The  Strengthening Protections Act requires the Social Security Administration (SSA) to promulgate regulations specifying the information Social Security beneficiaries.. read more →

To help today’s Medicare beneficiaries, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) combined eight Compare tools, allowing users to easily find information that is most important in making health care decisions. The new platform is currently up and running. Using the new Care Compare Tool, CMS combined 8 original provider Compare websites. In the.. read more →

Millions of Americans manage money or property for a loved one who’s unable to pay bills or make financial decisions. To help financial caregivers, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or the CFPB, worked closely with the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging to prepare four (4) consumer guides: Help for agents under a.. read more →

Many VA Medical Centers across the country are re-opening their doors and expanding services. To ensure the protection of both patients and staff, the VA’s Office of Information and Technology launched the COVID-19 digital pre-entry screening tool. The digital pre-entry screening tool allows Veterans, caregivers, and employees to answer questions on their mobile phones and share their.. read more →

Planning the long-term future of a child with special needs can be the source of enormous stress for parents. Among the challenges of raising a child with special needs is figuring out how to provide for that child once you’re gone. If the child will never be able to earn a living, how can you determine.. read more →

In New Jersey, all guardians are appointed by the Superior Court of New Jersey. A “guardian” is a person appointed by a court to make decisions regarding the person or property of an incapacitated adult. A person is “incapacitated” under the law if he or she “is impaired by reason of mental illness or mental.. read more →

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has asked the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR) to share the following information with NOSSCR members, SSA and SSI disability claimants with pending appeals and other interested parties:  Dear Colleague, I want to share an update regarding ways to contact our hearing offices during the Coronavirus (COVID-19).. read more →

For additional information concerning NJ elder law and special needs planning visit: NJ Elder Law and Estate Planning Services read more →

Each year on June 15, the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is celebrated by sharing resources to help prevent elder financial exploitation. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a federal agency, defines “elder financial abuse” as a situation in which “someone uses an older adult’s resources improperly or deprives an older adult of access to,.. read more →

Do you have evidence of misconduct involving a New Jersey nursing home or other long-term care facility during the COVID-19 outbreak? Now you have a chance to report the misconduct to New Jersey’s Attorney General. On April 16, 2020, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that the Office of the Attorney General had opened.. read more →

The Law Office of Donald D. Vanarelli has been working hard to continue serving you during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.  Many clients have limited access to their important planning documents and must create new ones. We have created new processes to assist our clients in a time when we are forced to socially distance ourselves.. read more →

The Quick Guide for Families summarizes the information in the Policies and Procedures Manuals prepared by the New Jersey Department of Human Services’ Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) for the DDD’s Medicaid waiver programs, the Supports Program and Community Care Program. The Quick Guide summarizes the eligibility rules and regulations governing the Supports Program and.. read more →

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced new guidance for state and local officials to ensure the safe reopening of nursing homes across the country. The guidance details critical steps nursing homes and communities should take prior to relaxing restrictions implemented to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including rigorous infection prevention and control, adequate.. read more →

Many guardians are wondering how the COVID-19 pandemic will impact their responsibilities. The National Guardianship Association, the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging, and the National Center for State Courts have worked together to develop a list of “Frequently Asked Questions” or FAQs. Throughout the list of FAQs, they have provided suggestions and.. read more →

Recently, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a new toolkit which was developed to provide nursing homes, Governors, states, departments of health and other agencies overseeing these facilities with additional resources to aid in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic within nursing homes. The toolkit is comprised of best practices from a variety.. read more →

Launched by the American Bar Association (ABA) Commission on Law and Aging, Mind Your Loved Ones, known as MYLO, is a mobile app that gives individuals the ability to store their own and their loved one’s critical medical information, health care directives, and other related data on their Apple or Android phones, iPads or tablets… read more →

COVID Coach is a free, easy-to-use mobile application created for everyone, including Veterans and Servicemembers, to support self-care and overall mental health during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The app was developed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in 2020. The app connects you to resources to help you cope with stress, stay healthy, stay.. read more →