A recent amendment to Section 369 of the Social Services law expands the list of assets which are considered to be in an individual’s “estate,” against which Medicaid could make a claim for recovery, to also include jointly held property, retained life estates, interests in trusts and any other property in which the individual has.. read more →

A New Jersey appeals court ruled that a nursing home resident who transferred the majority of her assets to her son during the look-back period was ineligible for nursing home Medicaid benefits when she failed to prove the transfer was done exclusively for a purpose other than to qualify for Medicaid. A.M. v. Division of.. read more →

(The following is part of a discussion, taken from a listserv, or electronic bulletin board, concerning benefits available for veterans, their dependents and survivors from the Department of Veterans Affairs.) Question: I have a client who has applied for Aid and Attendance Benefits (A&A) from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The client is moving.. read more →

    Here are my selections for the top ten (10) New Jersey cases involving Special Needs Trusts / Disability Planning decided in 2009 and 2010. For those cases I previously blogged about,  a link to the blog post as well as the case is included below. (1)     Special Needs Trust Can Be Established Only.. read more →

A self-settled special needs trust is exempt from being counted as a “resource,” for purposes of determining eligibility for public benefits, pursuant to section (d)(4)(a) of 42 U.S.C. §1396p. (For this reason, this type of trust is sometimes referred to as a “(d)(4)(a) trust.”) Pursuant to this federal law, as amended on August 10, 1993.. read more →

Here are my selections for the top ten (10) twelve (12) New Jersey elder law / public benefits / Medicaid cases decided in 2010: (1) R.C. v. Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services and Hudson County Board of Social Services, OAK DKT. NO. HMA 08047 – 10 (Hudson County, October 22, 2010): Judge Awards.. read more →

Ohio’s First District Court of Appeals has joined other state and federal courts across the country in ruling recently that Ohio improperly imposed a penalty period on a Medicaid applicant whose wife purchased an annuity during the look-back period. The Court held that Ohio’s regulations regarding the purchase of annuities are improperly restrictive, and are.. read more →

My law firm recently was successful on appeal in overturning the denial of Medicaid eligibility for an incapacitated client residing in a nursing home. In R.C. v. Division or Medical Assistance and Health Services and Hudson County Board of Social Services, OAK DKT. NO. HMA 08047 – 10 (Hudson County, October 22, 2010), R.C., through.. read more →

Lawyers who regularly deal with elderly and disabled clients like I do often confront the issue of client capacity. Under our professional rules, a lawyer may represent a client who has less than full capacity, although a lawyer is precluded from representing a client who lacks capacity. The issue confronting the lawyer involves properly assessing.. read more →

In Lopes v. Starkowski (U.S. Dist. Ct., Dist. Conn., No. 3:10-CV-307, August 11, 2010), the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut held that the State of Connecticut cannot treat the income stream from an annuity as an available asset for the purposes of Medicaid eligibility. After John Lopes was admitted to a nursing.. read more →

As many readers know, Medicaid applicants are subject to the imposition of a penalty, or a period of ineligibility for Medicaid, when gifts, called “transfers for less than fair market value” in the regulations, are made at any time during the five year period prior to the date on which the Medicaid application is filed,.. read more →

Following is an exchange posted on a electronic bulletin board devoted to the discussion of issues involving pension and compensation claims submitted to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA): Question: My client applied for pension benefits from the VA. The client was deemed medically qualified for VA Aid and Attendance benefits, but denied pension benefits.. read more →

A New Jersey administrative law judge (ALJ) recently held, contrary to a court order awarding wages for services rendered, that a payment to the adult children of a Medicaid applicant for services rendered under a power of attorney was properly considered to be a gift by the State’s Division of Medical Assistance and Health Service.. read more →

Soon after the passage of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA), New Jersey’s Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services, the State Medicaid agency, took the position that the penalty period, or period of ineligibility for Medicaid, resulting from transfers made during the look-back period by applicants for home or community – based services.. read more →

A New Jersey appeals court recently held that a life care contract between a nursing home resident and her daughter, in which the resident paid her daughter a lump sum for the future provision of personal care services, is not a transfer for fair market value for the purposes of Medicaid eligibility. E.S. v. Division.. read more →

Heriberto Pumarejo transferred the ownership of his home to his son, Herbert Pumarejo, Jr., for one dollar. About two years later, Mr. Pumarejo became a patient at the Arnold Walter Nursing Home. Kathryn Pumarejo, Herbert’s wife and the resident’s representative, signed an agreement in which she agreed to pay all nursing home bills that were.. read more →

As you know, the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA), is a needs-based government benefit program which provides monthly cash assistance to aged, blind or disabled individuals who have limited income and resources. Individuals over age 65 automatically meet the “aged” requirement. Adults who assert eligibility as “blind” or.. read more →

Conceding defeat in the courts, the National Association of State Medicaid Directors (NASMD) has sent a letter to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requesting that the agency revisit its treatment of community spouse annuities. In the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, Congress delegated the treatment of annuities in the Medicaid program.. read more →

Don Vanarelli’s Unofficial List of the TOP TEN REASONS TO ATTEND THIS YEAR’S ELDER LAW RETREAT 10.     You’ll be able to hobnob with the attorneys who put the “Elder” in Elder Law. 9.     If you’re in Cape May, you’re not in your office. 8.     Congress Hall hotel has 2 bars and 1.. read more →

In J.C. v. Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services and the Ocean County Board of Social Services, ____ N.J. Super. ____ (App. Div. 2010), petitioner was determined to be totally disabled due to a work place injury by a workers’ compensation (WC) court in New Jersey, and awarded $308 per week in WC benefits… read more →

In Matter of Jennings v. Commissioner, N.Y.S. Dept. of Social Services, a New York appellate court case, the petitioner, Mattie Lou Hammond established a third-party Special Needs Trust for the benefit of her disabled adult son.  She deposited all of her income into the Special Needs Trust. Mrs. Hammond’s income consisted of social security and.. read more →

Cases involving a variety of Medicaid planning strategies in New Jersey are now pending in the Office of Administrative Law (OAL), state and federal courts. A recent decision in response to a motion for summary judgment which I filed in an OAL case entitled M.S. v. Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services and the.. read more →

2009 was an exciting year of litigation in the elder and disability law arena, producing a bumper crop of significant decisions from the administrative forum, as well as state and federal courts. In stark contrast with years past, New Jersey lawyers are now in the forefront of the effort to expand legal protections to greater.. read more →

(The A.N. case, described below, was decided on administrative appeal in 2007 and affirmed the denial of Medicaid benefits. I represented the Medicaid applicant, A.N. You may ask why I would resurrect an administrative decision more than 2 year old which I lost. It’s a legitimate question. The answer is that I believe the case will.. read more →

As I had reported in a March 4, 2009 blog post, New Jersey Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) Walter M. Braswell, in E.F. v. Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services and the Union County Board of Social Services, OAL DKT. No. HMA-7536-08 (Union County, February 26, 2009), held that an annuity purchased by a community.. read more →