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 →

All Veterans, their spouses and caregivers can get COVID-19 vaccinations from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) under Public Law No: 117-4 (03/24/2021), also known as the Strengthening and Amplifying Vaccination Efforts to Locally Immunize All Veterans and Every Spouse Act or the “SAVE LIVES Act.” The SAVE LIVES Act was signed into law by.. read more →

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 Section 728 of Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (TURCA), federal tax refunds received after December 31, 2009 are not treated as income or resources (for a period of 12 months after receipt) for purposes of determining eligibility for all federal or federally-assisted programs, including Medicaid and the Children’s.. 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 →

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 →

Lawyers who claimed that former clients posted false, misleading, and/or inaccurate statements about the lawyer on online reviews asked the Attorney Ethics Board, formally known as the New Jersey Advisory Committee on Professional Ethics (NJACPE), whether they may publicly respond to these negative online reviews. In response, the Attorney Ethics Board stated that lawyers are.. read more →

Law Office of Donald D. Vanarelli would love your feedback. Please Post a review to our profile: https://g.page/VanarelliLaw/review?rc For additional information concerning New Jersey elder law, visit: NJ Elder Law and Estate Planning Services 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 →

The estate tax is a tax on your right to transfer property at your death. The estate tax is computed based on the value of everything you own or have an interest in at the time of your death. In contrast, the federal gift tax is payable if you give someone money or property during.. 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 →

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 →

A federal court awarded surviving spouse benefits to the surviving partner of a same-sex couple who were prohibited from marrying because of now-unconstitutional state law that banned same-sex marriage. Thornton v. Commissioner of Social Security, Case No. C18-1409JLR, (U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington, September 11, 2020) Helen Josephine Thornton and her partner, Margery.. 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 →

With the coronavirus pandemic responsible for more than a hundred thousand deaths and disrupting life across the United States, the only way for the country to return to normal is an effective vaccine. When a vaccine is available, Medicare will cover the cost. Medicare covers vaccines in a variety of ways, depending on the vaccine… 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 →

On June 5, 2020, the Administrative Office of the Courts issued Directive #18-20, allowing trial courts in New Jersey to enter a judgment granting a divorce in default and uncontested cases on the papers without requiring the parties to appear personally before the court. Judges have discretion to schedule hearings in such matters if necessary.. 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 →

The penalty divisor is the average daily cost of nursing home services in New Jersey. It is adjusted annually after a survey of all nursing facilities in New Jersey is conducted. The penalty divisor is used to determine the penalty period for an individual applying for Medicaid Long-Term Services and Supports when that individual transfers.. read more →

The coronavirus relief bill includes a direct payment to most Americans, but this has Medicaid recipients wondering how the payment will affect them. Because the payment is not income, it should not count against a Medicaid recipient’s eligibility. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides a one-time direct payment of $1,200 to.. read more →

Directive #12-20 issued by the New Jersey Supreme Court establishes principles and protocols for virtual court operations, including information about ways to conduct remote court events. The full name of the directive is “Directive #12-20 – Principles and Protocols for Virtual Court Operations During the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic – (1) Methods of Conducting Remote Court.. read more →

The New Jersey Supreme Court has issued new guidelines governing the use of electronic devices in and around courthouses. The Court stated that the reason for the new guidelines was to ensure that electronic devices do not “disrupt proceedings or compromise security, fairness to litigants, efficiency and/or appropriate courtroom decorum.” In summary, the new guidelines.. read more →

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“CV Response Act”) was signed into law on March 18, 2020.  The CV Response Act bars all Medicaid terminations during the course of the public health emergency caused by COVID-19. All individuals enrolled in Medicaid as of March 2020 must have continued benefits, until the last day of the.. read more →