Frequently Asked Questions
Elder Law is an area of legal practice focused on the needs of older adults and those with disabilities. Elder Law attorneys advocate for the elderly and their loved ones. An Elder Law Attorney has a practice centered around the issues that impact older adults and people with disabilities, thus, a holistic approach is often utilized. An elder law attorney will handle a wide range of matters that affect older and disabled persons, such as health estate planning, probate, health care, long-term care planning, conservatorships, Medicare/Medicaid, social security and veteran’s benefits. In addition, many elder law attorneys help with housing needs and life planning.
In many situations, with proper planning, your home and other assets may be protected. An experienced elder law attorney is the best source to advise you on your options.
Connecticut has a number of programs to provide care at home including the robust Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders. In most situations, with proper planning and advising, you can stay at home and receive the care you need there, even if you can no longer afford to pay for that care yourself. Aging in place is an area of focus at Hajosy Law. Contact Attorney Hajosy to learn more about home care options and the programs available.
Connecticut is one of the most expensive state’s for long term care costs. The average nursing home monthly rate is over $15,000. Even with a lifetime of savings, your entire net worth can be depleted very quickly. Medicaid will cover most or all of those costs (depending on the program), but your assets have to be depleted in order to qualify. With proper planning you can receive the care you need and provide asset protection to ensure your spouse or other loved ones are secure.
Ensuring your disabled loved one is taken care of when you can no longer take care of them is a very important task. Finding someone to take on that responsible and providing that person with the resources, ability and information needed to do so is key to a successful transition. One key element is the proper legal paperwork to grant authority to act, protect assets and maintain eligibility for benefit programs. Often, a special needs trust is utilized to ensure there is funding and services. A holistic approach to future needs is a best practice. Thus, consulting with a special needs/disability attorney is vital to an overall encompassing plan for your disabled loved one.
Surprise, you received an inheritance or court settlement and now the government is asking to be reimbursed for care and services provided. In addition, you are no longer eligibility for the benefit programs you were receiving. Consulting a disability/special needs/elder law attorney before the settlement is finalized will ensure you are able to keep as much of the money as possible with no or limited disruption in government programs. Often a special needs trust, structured settlement, Medicare Set-Aside and/or Medicare set-aside special needs trust is utilized.
Medicare is the federal government program that provides health care coverage ( health insurance) to those that are over the age of 65 or disabled and receiving SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance). Deductions from your earnings go to fund the program. In addition, once you start taking Medicare, you will have co-pays and deductibles. Medicare DOES NOT cover long term care costs such as home care or skilled nursing care in a nursing home. Medicaid is a needs based program that helps cover medical and long term care costs once you can no longer afford to pay for those services yourself. Asset and income limits apply for many Medicaid programs. Consulting with an elder law attorney before you need services is the best way to ensure you can protect your assets and have resources to help you remain in the community.