Articles Posted in Public Programs

AdobeStock_100981959-300x200By Lara Schneider Bomzer

Governor Malloy has revealed his new budget plan to reduce a deficit close to $1.7 billion.  The plan includes cuts designed to freeze the number of recipients of who may be eligible for the “Category 2” Connecticut Home Care Program for the Elders.  These are recipients who need care at home, but whose asset levels exceed Medicaid eligibility requirements.

Under the Governor’s plan, the current 2,500 slots would be frozen by June 30th.  If anyone were to leave the program after that, then a new person could enroll. Continue reading

stop waiting time for action act now dont waste time standing in a row for a wait list being impatient

The bleak state of our State is that many individuals with special needs are no strangers to “waiting lists” for vital supports and services in the community. For many, the term waiting list has become synonymous with “good luck and goodbye.”

But for those individuals who have fallen into the dark abyss of waiting, the Department of Justice has released a groundbreaking statement that shines a ray of hope.

The United States Department of Justice issued a powerful Statement of Interest in an Ohio case wherein individuals with disabilities sued the State for placing them on long waiting lists and for failing to provide supports in the community. Continue reading

 

Choice Wooden Letterpress ThemeFinally. A shift is afoot toward person-centered care .

Until recently, there was a Catch 22 when it came to getting care in the community. If you are 65 years of age or older, the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders is available. But for younger people with complex care needs, the options in Connecticut have been limited.

The PCA (Personal Care Assistance) Medicaid Waiver is available, for example, but primarily serves individuals with limited needs and certain conditions. Additionally, the program has a cap on the number of slots available, and a long waiting list. Other waiver programs are also limited. Continue reading

Happy senior mother and daughter portraitTransfers of assets generally raise a red flag when it comes to applying for Medicaid. They can trigger a penalty period, or a period of ineligibility. The good news is the Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS) will allow certain types of Medicaid asset transfers.

For example, a family caregiver can be compensated for providing care to a loved one if the care they provide is necessary.

Make a caregiver agreement

The individual must demonstrate a functional need for assistance with one or more activities of daily living. The type of care provided must be spelled out in a caregiver agreement, and certain conditions must be met. We will discuss the conditions later in this post. Continue reading

Who Blue cubes. Part of a series.

There are many ways a trustee of a special needs trust could cause harm to a beneficiary, however unintentionally. Here are 10 things to consider when deciding who should administer a special needs trust:

  1. SSI, SSDI, Medicare, Medicaid… sound confusing? It can feel like alphabet soup to the uninitiated. Does the prospective trustee understand the differences between these public benefit programs and the rules that govern them? A trustee with limited understanding could unwittingly jeopardize a beneficiary’s eligibility.

Continue reading

dollars-1412644-mThe Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability programs are the largest of several Federal programs that provide assistance to people with disabilities. While these two programs are different in many ways, both are administered by the Social Security Administration and only individuals who have a disability and meet medical criteria may qualify for benefits under either program.

SSDI pays benefits to you and certain members of your family if you are “insured,” meaning Continue reading

Money movementLegislators recently passed the federal Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE), which would allow individuals with disabilities or their families to open savings accounts, with no tax on the earnings, to pay for certain qualified expenses.

The federal law states that individuals can build up a financial cushion without fear that their eligibility for Social Security and Medicaid benefits will be jeopardized.

We are hoping that, in the near future, this federal opportunity will become a reality for Connecticut families and individuals with disabilities.

Currently, to qualify for many public benefits, people with disabilities can only have $2,000 in assets– making it very difficult to save for retirement, education or even general living expenses. Continue reading

iStock_000007924623SmallYou did well financially, and when the time came to move to assisted living you never considered the possibility that you might run out of money.

But you didn’t expect to live this long! And now that you need more help, it’s even more expensive to live.

What do you do?

The State of Connecticut created the Private Assisted Living Pilot Program – available for up to 125 qualifying individuals in Connecticut who have spent down their assets as a result of living in private assisted living facilities. Continue reading

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