The information discussed and/or provided is not intended as legal advice and persons should not rely on anything posted on this blog. Please also be advised that no attorney-client relationship is established until the firm has been contacted by telephone and an appointment made to discuss your situation with us.

In-Kind Support and SSI

March 4, 2019

Individuals on Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and those who support people on SSI, need to be aware that certain types of support payments that can cause a reduction in SSI benefits.

The types of payments that can cause reductions in SSI benefits are called in-kind support. In-kind support generally involves daily living expenses. Paying for food, mortgage, rent, and most utilities for an individual on SSI can cause their SSI benefits to be reduced. Property taxes and insurance can also cause a reduction in benefits. In order to avoid a benefit reduction, individuals should avoid paying for these in-kind support items using outside funds, including otherwise valid special needs trusts.

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Drawbacks to Guardianship

February 25, 2019

There are multiple tools available to help manage a person’s affairs in case of incapacity. Once a person becomes incapacitated, however, guardianship may be the option of last resort. Unfortunately, there are many reasons why people may want to avoid guardianship altogether.

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How Does the Gift Tax Work?

January 20, 2019

At first glance, the gift tax can appear more restrictive than it is in practice.

First, the burden of the gift tax, if any, is on the gift giver and not the receiver of the gift. In other words, giving gifts does not cause the recipient to pay the gift tax.

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Exempt Transfers and Medicaid Eligibility

December 26, 2018

When applying for Medicaid nursing home coverage, an applicant’s income and assets have to be under a restrictive cap to be eligible for the benefit. As part of the eligibility determination, the state Medicaid agency also looks back at any below market transfers that the applicant made in the previous five years and adds them back to a person’s current assets.

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Differences Between SSDI and SSI

December 17, 2018

Both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are programs run by the Social Security Administration to provide financial assistance to disabled individuals.

However, the two programs serve two different sets of people and have different benefits and restrictions.

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Revocable Living Trusts and Asset Preservation Trusts

December 7, 2018

Both revocable living trusts and asset preservation trusts can be useful parts of an estate plan. These types of trusts have some common features, but there are also important differences to keep in mind.

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Dangers of Paying for In Home Care

November 12, 2018

People generally prefer to remain living at home for as long as possible before considering moving into a nursing home for more specialized care.

One way to put off the need for moving into nursing home is to receive in home care from a relative or paid specialist.

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Limits of the Medicaid Primary Residence Exemption

November 6, 2018

In order to qualify for Medicaid nursing home coverage, a person’s total assets must be under a certain level. For many people, their main asset is their home. Under Medicaid’s asset cap, a person’s primary residence is exempt from the asset cap. However, this exemption is less valuable than it may seem at first glance.

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Medigap Options and Future Changes

October 29, 2018

Medigap insurance plans are additional private insurance options on top of Medicare that cover health care costs that Medicare Part A and B do not cover such as deductibles, coinsurance for some services, and various copayments. Medigap policies are bought by individuals who either do not have an employer/union supplied Medicare supplement plan or do not qualify for Medicaid.

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Changes to VA Pension Eligibility Rules

October 15, 2018

As of October 18, 2018, new rules will go into effect that will change eligibility guidelines for VA pensions. The changes apply to all types of VA pensions.

VA pensions are available to wartime veterans and their surviving spouses. The money is tax-free and can be used for any purpose. The Basic pension is available to wartime veterans who are either 65 years old, live in a nursing home, receive Social Security disability benefits, or have a total and permanent disability not related to military service.

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Martha C. Brown & Associates, LLC assist clients with Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Jefferson County, Franklin County and the surrounding areas including Arnold, Ballwin, Barnhart, Bellefontaine Neighbors, Black Jack, Bonne Terre, Brentwood, Bridgeton, Cedar Hill, Chesterfield, Clayton, Crestwood, Creve Coeur, Crystal City, Des Peres, DeSoto, Ellisville, Farmington, Fenton, Festus, Ferguson, Florissant, Fredericktown, Frontenac, Hazelwood, Herculaneum, High Ridge, Hillsboro, House Springs, Imperial, Kirkwood, Ladue, Lake St. Louis, Manchester, Maplewood, Maryland Heights, Mehlville, Normandy, O'Fallon, Olivette, Pacific, Pevely, Richmond Heights, St. Ann, St. Charles, St. Clair, St. Peters, Ste. Genevieve, Sunset Hills, Town & Country, University City, Union, Valley Park, Washington, Webster Groves, Wentzville , Wildwood.