New York, NY (PRWEB) December 15, 2010
New York Elder Law attorney David Cutner says that the economy is having a devastating impact on elderly and disabled persons. Budget cuts at government agencies and charities, dramatic losses in savings and retirement accounts, unavailability of credit, and layoffs and unemployment, are combining to create unusually difficult conditions for everyone. Seniors and the disabled are particularly vulnerable.
Most at risk are those whose physical or mental decline has reached a point where they need assistance at home, or care in a nursing facility. At current rates of about $ 20 per hour for home care (or about $ 7,000 per month for a 12 x 7 care), and $ 16,000 a month or more at pricier nursing homes, costs are stratospheric and continue to escalate. Few people have room in their budget for these kinds of expenses, and children or other family members may not be in a position to help.
Fortunately, New York offers excellent benefits, but all too often seniors and their families are not aware of their rights and their options. Many seniors can qualify for Medicaid, a government program that covers all medical and health expenses. For them, it?s a godsend, because with planning they?re able to preserve their income, money and assets, and still qualify for benefits.
?Many of our clients are surprised they can qualify. Some even have valuable homes, and significant amounts in savings and investments. With the right approach, you too can become eligible. You don?t have to spend down your assets until there is nothing left,? says Cutner.
Lamson & Cutner has just released the New Updated Second Edition of its popular and informative Special Report for seniors and their families, 25 Strategies to Prevent Financial Ruin from Long-Term Health Care Costs. In clear and easy to understand language, the 25 Strategies report discusses proven strategies for obtaining health care while staying financially intact. The Special Report is available free.
Lamson & Cutner has also just published The Top Ten Elder Law Strategies for Alzheimer?s Patients & Their Families. The report is sub-titled: ?10 Absolutely Essential Principles for Preserving Quality-of-Life When Dealing with a Medical Diagnosis of Dementia.? This Special Report is also available free. Alzheimer?s patients and their families will want to have a copy of both reports.
Here are a few excerpts from the 25 Strategies Special Report:
1 ? You can qualify. Many people think they?re not eligible for Medicaid. They feel they have too much money, income and assets to qualify, or that the trusts used for asset or income protection are for rich people only. This is simply untrue. With effective planning, most can qualify for Medicaid benefits, and protect their money and income at the same time.
2 ? Understand the difference between Medicare and Medicaid. These are both medical and health programs provided by government to pay benefits to senior citizens and the disabled. Many people confuse the two, but these programs are different. Medicare is medical insurance, for hospitals, doctors, and therapists. It?s just like any other insurance policy, except that the federal government provides it. It pays expenses related to acute care and rehabilitation. Everyone, 65 years of age or older, is eligible for Medicare. Medicaid provides benefits for those who are permanently ill, injured or disabled, and who need long-term care, as well as assistance for acute medical needs and a variety of other programs in the community. Eligibility is means tested, based on financial resources.
3 ? Only hire an Elder Law attorney for Medicaid and long-term care issues. Medicaid has complex rules and regulations that most people find almost impossible to understand and navigate. Even attorneys have a hard time giving accurate answers and helping clients, unless they?re Elder Law practitioners. If you need long-term home or nursing home care, your needs will best be served by an Elder Law attorney.
4 ? A trust can be used to protect your home against creditors, including Medicaid. A trust is a legal structure that allows you to protect and preserve assets that would otherwise make you ineligible for Medicaid, or that would be subject to a Medicaid lien or estate recovery. When you transfer your home to a trust, you no longer own it. The house legally belongs to the trust, and your property is safe from a Medicaid claim. (The transfer may subject you to a Medicaid penalty period if you need nursing home care, so a transfer should not be made without first consulting an Elder Law attorney.)
5 ? Use special trusts to protect your income if you are eligible for Medicaid home care. If you are living in the community and need Medicaid services, Medicaid will insist that you contribute your ?surplus income? (currently, any income in excess of $ 787 per month) to the cost of your care. However, you may be eligible to create a ?pooled income trust,? which would allow you to preserve your surplus income and use it for your own needs.
7 ? It?s not too late. If it?s obvious you?ll need home or nursing facility care in the near future, steps can yet be taken to preserve your financial resources, and to protect your house, condo or co-op. Even if you?re already in a nursing home and paying for care privately, it?s not too late to initiate effective planning so that Medicaid covers your bills. In most instances, you can shield a substantial portion of your money and assets. You may be able to save as much as 40% to 50% of what you have.
For your free copy of the New Updated Second Edition of Lamson & Cutner?s 25 Strategies Special Report, or its Alzheimer?s Special Report, call the firm at 212-447-8690, or toll free at 866-524-1818.
ATTORNEY ADVERTISING. Prior results obtained by the firm do not guarantee a similar result in future cases.
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