Wartime Veterans May Face Look-Back Period
There are certain benefit programs that senior citizens often rely on such as Medi-Cal that have upper resource limits. You cannot qualify for the program as a way to pay for long-term care if you have countable assets that exceed a certain amount. As a result, Medi-Cal planning can include giving away resources to your children and/or grandchildren as a way to stay within the limits. After all, they would be inheriting these resources anyway after you pass away.
However, there is a five-year look-back period (California is currently enforcing a 30-month look-back period as of the writing of this article).If you divest yourself of assets within five years of applying your eligibility is delayed.The length of the penalty is based on the average cost of long-term care as it compares to the amount of money that you give away.
Another program that has an upper resource limit is the Veterans Aid & Attendance special pension.Wartime veterans who need assistance with their day-to-day living needs can get a monthly check to help pay for their care. However, there is an upper resource limit of $80,000 (though your home and your vehicle don't count toward this figure).
On this day there is no Veterans Aid & Attendance look-back period.However,Sen.Ron Wyden of Oregon has proposed such a period.He would like to see a three-year look-back applied to this veterans benefit, and such provision could be added in the future.
As you can see,last-minute scrambling can be problematic.The wise course of action is to develop a comprehensive plan for aging with the assistance of a San Jose elder law attorney who is specifically focused on retirement and estate planning.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Roy W. Litherland
Experienced estate planning attorneys Campbell CA of the Law Office of Roy W. Litherland offers estate planning and business planning resources to residents of Campbell CA.
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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.