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 →

In October 2017, Congress passed an important new law, the Elder Abuse Prevention and Protection Act (EAPPA). The EAPPA is one of very few laws which allocates federal funds to address financial elder abuse. The new law was a direct reaction to increasing incidents of financial elder abuse. Every year, thieves, swindlers and even the.. read more →

The House Republicans tax proposal introduced today ends the Medical Expense Deduction. This change will cause major harm to individuals and families trying to pay for the catastrophic costs of long-term services and supports (LTSS). About half (52%) of Americans turning 65 today will develop a condition that requires LTSS. Individuals needing LTSS are those.. read more →

On September 13, 2017, Governor Christie signed legislation known as the “Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act.” In doing so, New Jersey joined 23 other states which have already have enacted a version of the law. The new law recognizes a fiduciary’s right to control a decedent’s digital assets. Under the new law, a.. read more →

In a major new ethics opinion, the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility indicated that lawyers must take reasonable efforts to ensure that communications with clients are secure and not subject to inadvertent or unauthorized security breaches. Notably, and for the first time, the opinion says that, in some circumstances, lawyers would.. read more →

New Jersey’s Medicaid rules are complicated, and always changing. One such change in the rules occurring on a regular basis is the State Medicaid agency’s amendment to the Medicaid program’s “penalty divisor.”  On May 12, 2017, a Medicaid Communication, or notice from the agency, was released by New Jersey’s Division of Medical Assistance and Health.. read more →

New Jersey’s ABLE law (the acronym is short for “Achieving a Better Life Experience”) went into effect a few months ago, in October 2016.  Under the new law, New Jersey’s Department of Human Services and the Department of the Treasury are required to establish the ABLE Program pursuant to federal law. Persons who became disabled.. read more →

New Jersey’s Division of Consumer Affairs (DCA) released a Consumer Brief on Medicaid Advisors/Application Assistors. Medicaid Advisors/Application Assistors are non-lawyers who provide limited services without payment or compensation in connection with Medicaid applications. According to the DCA Consumer Brief, the limited services which Medicaid Advisors/Application Assistors may perform include the following: providing information on insurance.. read more →

The Social Security Administration (SSA) published two final regulations that will have significant impacts on the disability determination process for those applying for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits and those applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits on the basis of disability. The first set of regulations, Revisions to Rules Regarding the Evaluation of Medical.. read more →

The federal Nursing Home Reform Law was enacted in 1987, and became effective in October 1990. The Reform Law governs any nursing facility that accepts reimbursement from Medicare or Medicaid, and applies to all residents in any such facility, regardless of the individual resident’s payment source. In other words, the law applies whether the resident’s.. read more →