Elder law encompasses a wide range of practice areas, including Medi-Cal planning, estate planning, asset protection, disability planning, guardianship, Veterans Benefits planning, and more. Our goal is to help seniors remain independent for as long as they possibly can, protect their savings against the high cost of nursing home care, and provide compassionate guidance and legal counsel in what is known as a Medi-Cal crisis situation. We help seniors and their loved ones plan in advance to protect assets against the cost of long-term care. We also help families in a Medi-Cal crisis.
Consider the following statistics: almost one in two women and one in four men find themselves in a nursing home at some point in their lives; nursing home care averages between $7,500 and $9,000 a month in California; and two out of every three families exhaust their life savings within the first year of a loved one moving into a nursing home.
The good news is our Sacramento Elder Law Attorneys can help you qualify for assistance from Medi-Cal, Veterans Benefits and other sources to help pay for long-term care. We can also structure your assets in such a way that you won’t have to “spend down” all of your income or relinquish most or all of your assets to become eligible for Medi-Cal.
Non-Crisis Medicaid Planning
Non-crisis Medi-Cal planning is for people who are currently healthy but want to ensure that they will be prepared for the extraordinary costs involved in obtaining long-term care if they do become incapacitated. Our Sacramento Elder Law Attorneys can design a plan that will allow you to protect your assets and manage your personal and financial affairs in the event you or your spouse become incapacitated. With a well-drafted and properly implemented plan in place, you can help ensure that you will be well cared for if you become incapacitated and enjoy greater peace of mind.
A Medi-Cal Crisis
What is a Medi-Cal crisis? It is a situation in which an individual has already been admitted to a nursing home—or will be placed in one very soon—and has been informed that he or she has too many assets to qualify for Medi-Cal assistance. Unfortunately, information provided by well-meaning friends, social workers, nursing home intake staff, and Medi-Cal workers is often incorrect or out of date. The laws governing Medi-Cal eligibility are extremely complicated and ever changing. Even attorneys who do not focus on elder law and Medi-Cal planning may not fully understand them. At Crider Law PC, we do.
If you or someone you love is facing a Medi-Cal crisis, please contact us to learn how we may be able to help. Quite possibly, we can obtain the assistance you need, even if you have been denied assistance from Medi-Cal in the past. You are not alone—we are here to help you.
The top eight mistakes people make with Medi-Cal qualification
1. Thinking it’s too late to plan.
It’s almost never too late to take planning steps, even after a senior has moved to a nursing home.
2. Giving away assets too early.
Make sure you take care of yourself first. Don’t put your security at risk by putting your money, home or other assets in the hands of your children too soon. Precipitous transfers can cause tax and Medi-Cal problems as well.
3. Ignoring important safe harbors created by Congress.
Certain transfers are allowed without jeopardizing Medi-Cal eligibility. These include: transfers to disabled children, caretaker children, certain siblings and into trust for anyone who is disabled and under age 65; a transfer to a “pay-back” trust if under age 65; and a transfer to a pooled disability trust at any age.
4. Failing to take advantage of protections for the spouse of a nursing home resident.
These protections can include the purchase of an immediate annuity, petitioning for an increased community spouse resource allowance and petitioning for an increased income allowance.
5. Applying for Medi-Cal too early.
This can lead to a longer period of ineligibility.
6. Applying for Medi-Cal too late.
This can result in many months of ineligibility.
7. Not getting expert help.
It’s penny wise and pound foolish not to consult with an attorney with experience guiding clients through the Medi-Cal application process.
8. Confusion about the difference between lifetime liens on property and estate recovery.
There are a number of exceptions to lifetime liens on property, but for estate recovery there is only a deferral for a surviving spouse and a hardship waiver.