This week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published revised guidelines for nursing home visits during the pandemic. The new recommendations are the first revision to the federal government’s nursing home guidance since September 2020. They are effective immediately. The new recommendations allow indoor and outdoor visits for all residents, except in limited.. read more →

Under COVID-19 legislation, a one-time direct payment of $1,200 was paid to individuals earning less than $75,000 per year ($150,000 for couples who file jointly), including beneficiaries of Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, Medicaid benefits and other public benefits based upon financial need. Individuals earning up to $99,000 ($198,000 for joint filers).. read more →

An appeals court held that an agreement to apply for Medicaid benefits for a nursing home resident made by the resident’s guardian or family members may be legally enforceable by the nursing facility in which the resident resides. Pine Brook Care Center v. D’Alessandro, Docket No. A-3197-18T1 (NJ Appellate Division, November 23, 2020) In April.. read more →

On December 1, 2020, Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) presented at the 22nd Annual Elder and Disability Law Symposium held via ZOOM Webinar by the New Jersey State Bar Association Elder and Disability Law Section and the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education. Mr. Vanarelli spoke on planning to attain eligibility for pension benefits.. read more →

According to the National Council on Aging, approximately 1 in 10 Americans aged 60 and older have experienced some form of elder abuse.  Some estimates range as high as 5 million elders who are abused each year. One study estimated that many cases go unreported – only 1 in 14 cases of abuse are reported.. read more →

Tax Benefit Checklist for Families Caring for Special Needs Children Unique tax benefits are available to families with individuals who have special needs. A checklist compiled by Thomas M. Brinker, Jr., a professor of accounting at Arcadia University in Pennsylvania, of some potential tax benefits that could be available to families who care for a special.. read more →

 22nd Annual Elder And Disability Law Symposium The COVID Cloud: Pandemic Practice Tips for the Elder Law and Special Needs Practitioner Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) will present at the 22nd Annual Elder and Disability Law Symposium to be held via ZOOM Webinar on December 1, 2020 by the New Jersey State Bar Association Elder.. read more →

The Internal Revenue Service issued final regulations this month providing details about how Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) accounts should operate. ABLE accounts are designed to help people with disabilities and their families save up to $100,000 without risking eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and other government benefits based on financial need. Medicaid can.. read more →

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

The Seventh Circuit vacated a district court decision that allowed an Indiana Medicaid recipient to hire her own in-home health care providers as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act, holding that more evidence was needed to determine if the recipient’s request can be granted consistent with federal requirements for funding. Vaughn v. Walthall (U.S… read more →

A new report from National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) in collaboration with the National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA) entitled “Mandated Reporting of Abuse of Older Adults and Adults with Disabilities” is now available. This report focuses on mandated reporting of abuse of older adults and adults with disabilities to Adult Protective Services (APS) or.. read more →

The ABA Commission on Law and Aging, along with the Penn Memory Center, announced the release of a new voting guide, Assisting Cognitively Impaired Individuals with Voting: A QUICK GUIDE. Here’s the introduction to the new voting guide: Difficulties in communication can occur when interacting with a person who has cognitive impairment. The techniques and tips.. read more →

The Law Council of Australia, an information source I was unfamiliar with until recently, released a new legal guide entitled “Best Practice Guide for Legal Practitioners in relation to Elder Financial Abuse.” The Guide is intended to assist legal practitioners to identify and address potential issues regarding elder financial abuse in the preparation and execution of.. read more →

During the COVID 19 crisis, Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi has taken several initiatives in light of the challenges presented by the coronavirus. Union County is deeply concerned about the safety of voters and well as their democratic right to vote. As a result, Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi has released a video with step-by-.. 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 →

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 →

The New Jersey Appellate Division held that the state Medicaid agency is required to screen a Medicaid recipient for eligibility for all other Medicaid programs before terminating the recipient from the Medicaid program for which the recipient is presently eligible. D.C. v. Div. of Med. Assistance & Health Servs., 2020 WL 4290056 (N.J. Super. Ct… read more →

Based on reports from the police department, Adult Protective Services of Sussex County (APS) opened an investigation into the well-being of then eighty-five-year-old Sally DiNoia, who was living in her home with her adult son, John. Sally’s husband Paul had passed away, and John had been Sally’s primary caregiver for several years. . APS’s investigation.. 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 →

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 →

New Jersey Bankers Association Financial Elder Abuse Webinar Date Time: Jun 10, 2020 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada) Topic: On-Line Webinar on Financial Elder Abuse Financial Elder Abuse is a growing concern, with 4 million cases of elder abuse reported last year. The elderly are often bilked out of their savings, investments, and.. 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 →