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.

Medi-Cal Planning

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by well-mean­ing friends, social work­ers, nurs­ing home intake staff, and Medi-Cal work­ers is often incor­rect or out of date.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.