An Attorney Assisting with Medicaid Planning and Veterans Benefits
A lawyer helping clients determine eligibility for government programs from offices in Clearwater, Largo and St. Petersburg
Many Americans are eligible for benefits through Medicaid and the Veterans Administration (VA). Medicaid may offset some costs for older Americans who are faced with long-term care at a nursing home or similar facility, while disabled combat and noncombat veterans may receive cash and noncash assistance through the VA.
As both a long-time Florida resident and the recipient of an advanced legal degree in elder law, attorney Susan Charles understands the plight of both older Americans and disabled military veterans.
How does one qualify for Medicaid?
To qualify for Medicaid assistance, you must meet a medical necessity requirement and an income requirement:
- Single person: Monthly income of $2,130 or less and nonexempt assets of $2,000 or less
- Married couple with one spouse in nursing home: Monthly income of $2,300 for spouse in nursing home, unlimited monthly income for spouse living in the home and maximum nonexempt assets of $115,920 or less
- Married couple with both spouses in a nursing facility: Combined monthly income of $3,618 and combined nonexempt assets of $3,000 or less
Nonexempt assets include retirement accounts, personal savings and almost any other asset except for your home.
How can I qualify for Medicaid while retaining my exempt assets?
Medicaid looks at your finances for the past five years to ensure that you have not given away assets with the intent to defraud the government, and the penalties for Medicaid fraud can be severe. However, a Medicaid planning attorney may be able to help you with qualification issues by using a special needs trust, gifting strategies and other devices.
What can I do if Medicaid denies my application?
If Medicaid denies your application, you can make an appeal to the Office of Appeals Hearings. The most common grounds for appeal are a lack of sufficient notice or other procedural error.
What benefits does the VA provide to disabled veterans?
VA Aid and Attendance cash benefits may include up to $1,949 per month of nontaxable income. Valuable noncash benefits may be available as well:
- Health benefits may include doctor visits, specialized medical care and prescription drugs
- VA Aid and Attendance is available to combat veterans who need help with daily activities, such as cleaning the house, personal hygiene and transportation needs
- Assisted living services are available to veterans who are blind or who are in a care facility due to mental or physical incapacitation
What is the VA benefits claims process?
After you file your claim for benefits, the VA reviews the evidence and issues a decision. This process may take well over a year. An appeal is possible, at which time there is a full and complete hearing.
Work with an experienced St. Petersburg attorney
Our background serves you well when dealing with government bureaucrats and red tape. Contact The Charles Law Offices at 727-683-1483 or online to schedule your initial consultation at our Largo, Clearwater or St. Petersburg office.