Below, courtesy of the ElderLawAnswers website, is the annual roundup of the top 12 elder law decisions decided by federal and state courts in 2012. The cases were selected based upon readership as measured by the number of readers who “clicked through” to the full story in the website’s Weekly and Monthly e-letters. Links in.. read more →

For years, clients have asked about pension benefits available from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Because of this consistent client interest, I’ve written about VA pension benefits with Housebound or Aid and Attendance Supplement in many blog posts over the years. However, one issue I haven’t blogged about yet involves calculating the amount of.. read more →

New Jersey’s Medicaid rules are complicated, and seem like they’re always changing. One such change in the rules that occurs on a regular basis is the State Medicaid agency’s amendment to the Medicaid program’s “penalty divisor.”  On December 10, 2012, a Medicaid Communication, or notice, was released by the Division of Medical Assistance and Health.. read more →

In the usual case, a transfer of assets, or gift, by a Medicaid applicant made within five (5) years of the date of the Medicaid application will result in the imposition of a penalty, or period of ineligibility for Medicaid. N.J.A.C. 10:71-4.10(a) The length of the penalty period depends upon the value of the gifted.. read more →

(The 15th Annual Elder and Disability Law Symposium was held on October 3, 2012 at the New Jersey Law Center, in New Brunswick, NJ. This year, as in the past few years, I gave the case law update at the opening plenary session by summarizing the top ten (10) or so elder and disability law.. read more →

After John Lopes was admitted to a nursing home, his wife, Amelia, purchased a irrevocable, nontransferable, single premium annuity for $166,878.99 from The Hartford Life Insurance Company. The annuity contract provided for monthly payments of $2,340.83 over a period of approximately six years. In a letter, the annuity company confirmed that no part of the.. read more →

For the past several years, I have represented Thomas Saccone, a retired Newark, NJ firefighter with a severely disabled adult child named Anthony. Anthony lives with his parents, is unable to work, has been found to be totally disabled by the Social Security Administration, and for many years has received Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and.. read more →

Aid and Attendance is a benefit that is available through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to a qualifying veteran whose net worth is not “excessive” and who: is bedridden, or requires the aid of another person to perform activities of daily living, or is a nursing home resident, as a result of mental or.. read more →

A New York appeals court allowed a case for legal malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty to proceed against an attorney who charged more than $44,000 for Medicaid planning work to protect a net estate valued at about $130,000. Sobel v. Ansanelli, (N.Y. Sup. Ct., App. Div., 2nd Dept., No. 2011-11418, Sept. 19, 2012). In.. read more →

Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that provides a funding source to pay nursing home costs for elderly and disabled persons.  The Medicaid program was created under Title XIX of the Social Security Act of 1965, codified in the U.S. Code, Title 42, Section 1396 et seq.  New Jersey’s Medicaid regulations are found.. read more →

A Pennsylvania appellate court held that son is liable for his mother’s $93,000 nursing home bill under the state’s filial responsibility law. Health Care & Retirement Corporation of America v. Pittas (Pa. Super.Ct., No. 536 EDA 2011, May 7, 2012). John Pittas’ mother entered a nursing home for rehabilitation following a car crash in September 2007… read more →

A New Jersey appeals court recently ruled that a Medicaid recipient’s wife is not entitled to an increase in her minimum monthly maintenance needs allowance (MMMNA) because she did not demonstrate that her financial duress was caused by exceptional circumstances. K.L. v. Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services (N.J. Super. Ct., A.D., No. A-3288-10T1,.. read more →

Below is a roundup of the top 10 national elder law decisions for the past year, as measured by the readers of the ElderLawAnswers website. 1. Medicaid Applicant’s Penalty Period Does Not Begin Until Returned Assets Are Spent Down In Marino v. Velez (U.S. Ct. App., 3rd Cir., No. 10-2324, Jan. 10, 2011), the U.S. Court of.. read more →

Below are figures for 2012 that are frequently used in the estate and elder law practice or are of interest to clients. Medicaid Spousal Impoverishment Figures for 2012 The new minimum community spouse resource allowance (CSRA) is $22,728, and the new maximum CSRA is $113,640. The new maximum monthly maintenance needs allowance is $2,841. The minimum monthly maintenance.. read more →

Earlier this year the New York State Legislature, prompted by the Governor’s Medicaid Redesign Team, amended Section 369 of the Social Services Law to increase New York’s right to recover money from the estate of a deceased Medicaid recipient. The amendment expands the definition of the term “estate” in the Medicaid Law to include non-probate.. read more →

Federal district court in New Jersey denied a Medicaid applicant’s request for an injunction directing the state to disregard his wife’s purchase of a life estate in their daughter’s home when determining his eligibility for nursing home Medicaid benefits.  The Court ruled that issues of fact were in dispute, preventing an injunction from being issued… read more →

Ruling that a state statute violated federal Medicaid law, a federal district court granted a preliminary injunction preventing Connecticut from denying Medicaid benefits to an applicant seeking to disregard his spouse’s assets using the doctrine of spousal refusal.  Fortmann v. Starkowski(D. Ct., No 3:10cv1562 (JBA), Sept. 28, 2011). Bernhard Fortmann, a nursing home resident, applied.. read more →

In Sable v. Velez, applicants were denied Medicaid because of promissory notes owned by the applicants. Each note was properly signed, and contained a specified interest rate and repayment schedule.  Medicaid found the promissory notes to be countable after determining that the notes qualified as a “trust-like device.” In their suit in federal court under.. read more →

The Director of New Jersey Medicaid recently decided that, when a couple is institutionalized, the resources of the couple are not combined when determining Medicaid eligibility. Rather, the resources of each spouse must be considered separately.  Therefore, when only one spouse applies for Medicaid benefits and that spuse’s resources alone do not exceed the resource.. read more →

For most of her life, V.P. resided in her home with her adult son, R.P. V.P. suffered from many significant impairments, including spinal scoliosis and other degenerative diseases of the spine, hypertension, diabetes, gastroesophageal reflux disease, anxiety, and frequent urinary tract infections. As a result of her poor health, V.P. relied upon her son R.P… read more →

A New Jersey appeals court held that a Medicaid applicant who transferred money to her daughter and then a few months later received a life estate in her daughter’s home made a gift to the daughter rather than engage in a bona fide transaction involving the purchase of a life estate, resulting in the imposition.. read more →

Very often, family members provide assistance in caring for an aged or disabled loved one.  The assistance is often provided at great personal and financial sacrifice by the family member involved in care-giving. One way to alleviate the financial sacrifice experienced by the care-giver to some extent is by utilizing a Personal Services Contract (“PSC”)… read more →

In an unpublished, per curiam decision, a New Jersey appeals court ruled that a grant of funds awarded by a state agency which were held by an elderly Medicaid recipient in a bank account for the benefit of her disabled grandson are not countable resources that would affect her Medicaid eligibility. I.M. v. Division of.. read more →

A New Jersey appeals court upheld the imposition of a penalty period on a nursing home resident’s receipt of Medicaid benefits, holding that the resident failed to rebut the presumption that a court-ordered payment made to the resident’s adult children for previously uncompensated services provided under a power of attorney was not a valid payment.. read more →

A New Jersey appeals court ruled that the penalty period for a Medicaid applicant who transferred funds to her son could not begin until she became financially eligible for Medicaid, which occurred only after the son used all the transferred assets to pay the cost of the applicant’s care. S.S. v. Division of Medical Assistance.. read more →