The federal Social Security Administration (Social Security) runs the SSI program. The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) runs the Medi-Cal program (called Medicaid in other states) under an agreement with the federal government. County Departments of Public Social Services (DPSS), sometimes referred to as the “Welfare Department”, administer the Medi-Cal program locally.
An SSI beneficiary receives support because the beneficiary is aged, blind, or disabled and his or her assets and income are low enough to meet a “means test”. SSI is intended to pay for the beneficiary’s food, clothing, and shelter. Once qualified for SSI benefits, the beneficiary then receives Medi-Cal automatically because he or she is “categorically needy”. If the beneficiary receives too much income or has assets that are too large, he or she is likely to lose his or her SSI eligibility – and the Medi-Cal coverage along with it.
Special Needs Trusts allow a disabled beneficiary to receive an inheritance, gift, lawsuit settlement, or other funds, in such a way that the funds will not be considered to belong to the beneficiary in determining eligibility for various public benefits, as discussed above.
Special Needs Trusts are typically designed to pay for education, recreation, counseling, and medical attention beyond basic daily living expenses that public programs may provide for. Such provisions may include medical and dental expenses, special needs equipment (such as mobility devises, or equipped vans), extended rehabilitation, education, and other possibly essential needs. If the trust is sufficiently funded, the disabled person may also receive money for various daily expenses or discretionary spending, computers, vacations, and other qualify-of-life enhancing expenses.
Special Needs Trusts are often created by a parent or other family member for a disabled minor or adult relative. Such trusts also may be set up in a will or revocable family trust as a means for an individual to leave assets to the disabled relative.
While disability planning, retirement planning, and special needs planning can be ‘top of mind’ issues for boomers or older seniors, there are two additional essential estate planning needs that are not directly tied to the economy. These two concerns, if not addressed adequately, are responsible for a lot of family [...]
The maximum amount that a Veteran or Surviving Spouse who is eligible for Aid & Attendance will receive a 1.7% cost of living increase in 2013. Here are the new rates: Max. Annual Max. Monthly Pension Rate Pension Rate Status (Income Limit) (Income Limit) Single Veteran $20,772 $1,731 Married Veteran [...]
Panel discussion re the new draft Medi-Cal regulations and how they will affect everyone in the elder care community.
We have just received notice of the amount of the 2012 increase to the Aid & Attendance benefit.Â Starting in January, married Veterans can receive up to $2,019/mo. in reimbursement for unreimbursed medical expenses.Â Single Veterans can receive up to $1,703/mo.Â And Surviving Spouses may be eligible for up to $1,09 [...]
So what can I share with the adult children of my clients who are looking for a bit of financial relief?
Most Americans have never discussed what should happen when they die. There are many decisions to make, yet they have very little help in making those decisions. Studies show that more than 90% of Americans believe that pre-funding their funeral is a good idea, yet only 12% have done it. Studies also show that elder law and esta [...]
There are unique planning requirements for families with children, grandchildren or other family members (such as parents) with special needs. However, a lot of misconceptions exist in this area that result in costly mistakes in planning for special needs beneficiaries. In this post we will cover the three most common mistakes r [...]
Medi-cal (called Medicaid in states other than California) planning can be divided into two types based on urgency: pre-planning and crisis planning. Pre-planning is for those individuals who have not yet begun to spend their assets on private care, but may need to in the coming years. Crisis planning is for those individuals us [...]