Who Is Eligible For A VA Burial Allowance? Burial benefits from the Veterans Administration (VA) are payable only under certain conditions. You may be eligible for a VA burial allowance if: you paid for a veteran’s burial or funeral, AND you have not been reimbursed by another government agency or some other source, such as the deceased […]

What Records to Keep and How Long to Keep Them I recently spent a weekend afternoon going through old financial documents and deciding what I could discard. Digging through piles of records can be a frustrating task. It can take only one search to find something to raise the question: “Do I really need to […]

Stimulus Payment for Social Security Recipients to Arrive in May’s Mail On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (aka the stimulus bill). This law provides for a one-time economic recovery payment of $250 to most Social Security, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) […]

Housing Crisis Affects Seniors’ Efforts to Move A recent New York Times article highlighted the effect of the housing crisis on the ability of seniors to move into retirement communities or assisted living centers. For many seniors, their homes are their most valuable asset, particularly as the stock market has declined, and they have seen […]

Congress Waives Retirement Account Distribution Requirements for 2009 – May Affect Income Calculation Requirements for Medicaid Community Spouses Congress has passed and President Bush has recently signed legislation that will temporarily suspend the penalty for seniors who fail to take the required minimum distribution from IRA and employer retirement accounts in 2009. However, the penalty […]

Questions for Aging Parents, by Jerold E. Rothkoff Our office constantly meets with adult child who are frustrated at their parents perceived refusal to heed their children’s advice. A recent Real Simple magazine article discussed how adult children and their parents can have an open discussion about their concerns, and together face the challenges of […]

A Review of Key Elder Law Numbers for 2009 Below is compilation of Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and other figures for 2009 that are of interest to the elderly, their families, and those that work with them. Medicaid Spousal Impoverishment Figures for 2009 In 2009, the spouse of a Medicaid recipient living in a nursing […]

WORLD CHAMPION PHILLIES I had the privilege of being in Citizens Bank Park when Brad Lidge recorded the final out on Wednesday, October 29, 2008 to touch off a Philadelphia-area-wide celebration. The scene is something I will always remember and cherish. Yes, a few brainless people decided to trash South Broad Street in Philadelphia after […]

New Jersey Bill Would Create Alerts for Missing Elderly New Jersey would become the 11th state to create an emergency system for locating elderly residents who are missing, under a recent bill introduced in the New Jersey State Assembly. The Alert system would be much like the Amber Alert used to find missing children. Assemblywoman […]

Assisted Living Facility Costs as Tax Deductions Many caregivers of our clients who are residents of an assisted living facility inquire as to the tax deductibility of the costs of assisted living expenses. A recent NAELA News article by Robert Anderson discusses the process for deducting assisted living facility (ALF) costs on federal individual income […]

Coming Soon: Five-Star Rating System for Nursing Homes The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has recently announced plans to implement a one-to five-star rating system for nursing homes to help consumers evaluate a nursing home’s quality when selecting a facility. The ratings would appear on the CMS’s Nursing Home Compare Website. The rating system […]

Medicaid No-No’s Adult children of clients come to us trying to make sense of their elderly parents’ affairs after the parents’ faculties have deteriorated. The elders, often of the “Depression Era,” hold matters close to the vest and many have never discussed their financial affairs or their wishes with their children. This becomes an emotional […]

Senior-Friendly Writing Improves Client Understanding We change as we age. That is hardly a ground-breaking observation. But did you realize that the ability of seniors to read, understand and even process written materials changes with the aging process? Have you considered how information ought to be presented to older readers, including clients? Research on the […]