Monthly Roundup and Blog Highlights – September 2009

In these Monthly Roundups, I like to highlight my most popular blog posts from the preceding month.  The following hyperlinked titles identify the top 10 most accessed articles on this blog in September 2009, along with the original post date. The listed posts attracted the most traffic in the past month.  I also provide a short summary of the content of each blog post. Hope you enjoy!

  1. New Statutory Short Form Power Of Attorney And New Major Gifts Rider Form Now Available For New York State – August 21, 2009. In this very popular post, I described two important new statutory forms in New York: the new New York Power of Attorney form and the new Major Gifts Rider form.  The statutory Major Gifts Rider form must be completed in order to grant an agent under a power of attorney in New York the authority to make major gifts. I also made the new forms available for download in the blog post.
  2. The Basics of VA Pension Benefits – January 27, 2009. Here, I wrote about the difference between VA compensation and pension benefits, and I summarized the financial eligibility requirements for VA pension benefits.
  3. VA Compensation Claims and the “Medical Nexus” Requirement – April 23, 2009. This article discusses the evidence needed by a veteran to establish the “medical nexus”, or service connection, criteria of a VA compensation claim; that is, the evidence sufficient to prove that a particular injury or disease resulting in disability was incurred coincident with service in the Armed Forces, or if preexisting such service, was aggravated in the service.
  4. Federal Appeals Court Rules That Assets In A Special Needs Trust Are Countable Resources Under Medicaid – September 9, 2009. In this blog post, I summarized the federal court’s decision in the  Hobbs v. Zenderman case, in which the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit granted summary judgment in favor of the State of New Mexico, affirming a denial of Medicaid benefits and holding that the State could consider a special needs trust established under 42 U.S.C. §1396p(d)(4) to be a “countable resource” in determining Medicaid eligibility. This ruling is a major setback for disabled individuals and their families.
  5. The Basics of VA Compensation Benefits and the Effect that the receipt of VA Compensation will have upon Eligibility for SSI and Medicaid Benefits – January 26, 2009.  Here, I discussed the impact of the receipt of VA compensation benefits on eligibility for SSI and Medicaid benefits.
  6. VA Priority Groups – June 9, 2009.  This blog post discusses how access to the VA health care system is determined through assignment of a veteran to one of eight Priority Groups.
  7. Annual Estate and Gift Tax Exclusions in 2009 – February 3, 2009. Want to know about the annual estate and gift tax exclusions in 2009? In this short post, you will learn what they are.
  8. New Medicaid Planning Strategy Held To Be Valid In New Jersey In An Important New Case – October 29, 2008. This post discusses the G.L. vs. Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services case, an administrative appeal in which I represented the Medicaid applicant in a successful effort to reverse the State’s denial of Medicaid benefits.  The administrative law judge in this case granted summary judgment in favor of the Medicaid applicant, holding that the Medicaid estate plan we implemented, designed to accelerate eligibility for nursing home Medicaid benefits, was authorized under federal law.
  9. Overview of the VA Compensation Claims Process – March 30, 2009. This post briefly describes the VA claims process, from filing at the regional office through the various levels of administrative and judicial appeals.
  10. Two Year Waiting Period For Medicare Eligibility Under Social Security Disability Program Would Gradually Disappear In Proposed Legislation – April 17th, 2009. In this blog post, I talked about the “Ending the Medicare Disability Waiting Act of 2009”, a bill which, if enacted by Congress, will gradually phase out the two-year waiting period which recipients of Social Security disability benefits must endure under present law until they can begin receiving Medicare benefits.