New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has issued Executive Order 202.7, which temporarily suspends the rule requiring physical appearance before a notary public until April 18, 2020. This action was taken to facilitate the process of closing sales and signing estate documents remotely amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Executive Order allows notaries to notarize all legal.. read more →

The New Jersey Department of Human Services (“DHS”) has announced that its Federal Section 1135 Waiver Request has been approved by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”). On March 20, 2020, the New Jersey DHS had outlined federal Medicaid requirements that “pose issues or challenges for.. read more →

As reported by Jon Hurdle in a March 9, 2020 NJ Spotlight article, a pending bill would increase fines for failing to report that an institutionalized older adult is being exploited or abused. The bill, introduced February 13, 2020, would apply to, any caretaker, social worker, physician, registered or licensed practical nurse, or other professional.. read more →

For additional information concerning special needs trusts and disability planning, visit: NJ Special Needs Trusts and Disability Planning read more →

In December 2019, the U.S. Congress enacted into law the “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019,” also known as the SECURE Act, as part of a year-end spending bill. The SECURE Act makes major changes to retirement plan rules, including inherited plans. The effective date for the new law is January.. read more →

On January 29, 2020, I presented at the 2020 ““Elder Law in a Day” seminar given by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey. I presented the case law update, summarizing the most significant legal developments over the past year in the areas.. read more →

The following figures represent the average cost of nursing home care in each region in New York State as determined by the State Department of Health. These figures are used to calculate Medicaid penalty periods for gifts and asset transfers in New York. Long Island (Nassau/Suffolk) $13,407 New York City (5 Boroughs) $12,844 Central (Syracuse,.. read more →

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal program that helps people with disabilities and very low income and assets. Approximately 8.1 million Americans rely on a monthly SSI benefit to pay for their basic needs including rent, food, transportation, utilities, and healthcare co-pays. In order to qualify for SSI, you must be aged, blind or.. read more →

Medicaid is a critical lifeline for many low-income, elderly, or disabled New Jersey residents who, without Medicaid, would have no access to health insurance or to a critical source of funds to pay for long-term care costs or nursing home admission. However, the Medicaid eligibility process is incredibly confusing and tedious. Under the current Medicaid.. read more →

Earlier this month, New Jersey’s Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services (DMAHS), the State Medicaid agency, announced an increase in the penalty divisor from $343.85 to $351.84 per day, or $10,701.80 per month, effective April 1, 2019. This is an increase of only $7.99 per day, a very small increase when compared with prior.. read more →

On April 26, 2019, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a Notice to state housing agencies concerning the impact of ABLE accounts on eligibility for Section 8 vouchers, public housing and a host of other federal housing programs. ABLE accounts were created in 2014 by the passage of the Achieving a.. read more →

Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) will present at the 2019 “Elder Law in a Day” seminar given by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education on July 10, 2019 at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Mr. Vanarelli will provide the case law update, summarizing the most significant legal developments.. read more →

For additional information concerning NJ elder law and special needs planning visit: NJ Elder Law and Estate Planning Services _______________________________________________ ABOUT DONALD D. VANARELLI Donald D. Vanarelli has been a practicing attorney since 1983 in New Jersey and New York. Don provides legal services in the areas of elder law, estate planning, trust administration, special education,.. read more →

The New Jersey legislature has passed a medical aid in dying bill which Governor Murphy has indicated he will sign. The new law states that [New Jersey] affirms the right of a qualified terminally ill patient, protected by appropriate safeguards, to obtain medication that the patient may choose to self-administer in order to bring about.. read more →

Congressman John Garamendi, D-CA, recently introduced the Fair COLA for Seniors Act, H.R. 1553, to end inadequate retirement cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) that don’t account for the effects of inflation on older Americans. H.R. 1553 would require a switch to the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E) from the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage.. read more →

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is proposing regulations which may make it more difficult for people who don’t speak English to qualify for disability benefits. Under planned regulations released February 01, 2019, the SSA would no longer consider a person’s “inability to communicate in English” when reviewing applications, both for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. The.. read more →

In a recent decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that the presumption of service-connection for certain diseases suffered by Vietnam War era veterans applied to so-called “blue water” veterans – those who served on ships in seas off the coast of Vietnam, but did not set foot on land.  Procopio.. read more →

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is one of the major federal programs that provides monetary assistance to people with disabilities. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal program that helps people with disabilities and very low income and assets pay for food and shelter. SSDI is often confused with SSI. Although both programs pay benefits to.. read more →

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) needs-based pension program is available to compensate veterans for non-service-connected disabilities. Like the VA compensation program, eligibility for the pension program is based upon disability. Unlike the VA compensation program, however, the pension program is also based on income and financial need. To be eligible for benefits, the veteran’s.. read more →

New Jersey recently changed state law governing “refundable” entrance fee agreements used by Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs). State law limits the amount of time that CCRCs are permitted to retain “refundable” entrance fees after a resident vacates a facility due to relocation or death. Until recently, although New Jersey law required CCRCs to repay.. read more →

Westfield, NJ – June 19, 2018 — Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (https://vanarellilaw.com/) will participate in the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education’s 2018 Elder Law in a Day Seminar held on July 11, 2018 at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick, NJ. Mr. Vanarelli will provide the “Case Law Update: The Year.. read more →

Public Law 113–295, also known as The Stephen Beck, Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE Act), was enacted December 19, 2014. The ABLE Act provides individuals with special needs and disabilities to save money for disability related expenses in tax-free savings accounts while preserving their needs-based government benefits. Modeled on 529 college savings plans, ABLE.. read more →

Trustees of special needs trusts are increasingly relying on “administrator-managed prepaid debit cards,” such as True Link cards, when disbursing funds to beneficiaries.  These cards offer trust beneficiaries greater independence and the ability to get what they need more quickly.  But such cards existed in a regulatory gray area as far as the Social Security.. read more →

The Stephen Komninos’ Law, enacted in 2017, went into effect on May 1, 2018. The new law is designed to protect individuals with developmental disabilities who receive services through the New Jersey Department of Human Services (DHS) from abuse, neglect, and exploitation by caregivers and others, to upgrade crimes committed against such individuals and to.. read more →

A New York end-of-life agency, named End Of Life Choices New York, has approved a new form of advance directive document that allows people to stipulate, in advance, that they don’t want food or water if they develop severe dementia. The new advance directive is called the “Advance Directive for Receiving Oral Food and Fluids in.. read more →