June 2015 Newsletter

What are the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) legislative priorities.

I recently joined NAELA’s Public Policy Steering Committee. NAELA’s three legislative priorities for this year are the following:

The Special Needs Trust Fairness Act permits individuals with disabilities, who have the capacity, create their own special needs trusts. Under the current law, only a parent, grandparent, legal guardian of the individual, or a court can establish a special needs trust. This simple change in federal law would allow the disabled person to establish a special needs trust.

Veteran Long-Term Care Rule Changes: A proposed rule by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs creates restrictions on programs to veterans and their spouses in need of long-term care. The proposed rule imposes a three-year look-back on asset transfers with a maximum ten-year penalty period, a 2-acre limit to home lot sizes, and caps to home-health care expenses. The proposed rule limits the Aid & Attendance benefit program, which offers a lifeline for those Veterans and their surviving spouses who either want to remain in their homes, or a less restrictive environ¬ment when facing long-term care needs.

Focus on Community Based Care: Most seniors and persons with disabilities would prefer to live in their communities when receiving long-term care services. Studies have shown home and community-based services to be less expensive over time than nursing home care. Medicaid long-term care services throughout many states continue to have wait lists and complicated restrictions to receive community based covered care. NAELA seeks to ensure that those who need long-term care can do so in the least restrictive setting possible.

Community Presentations in July for Ed Zetlin

Langston-Brown – July 8th at 1:00 pm Understanding Retirement Accounts, Arlington Center 55 + at 2121 N. Culpeper Street, Arlington, Virginia 22207

Walter Reed – July 30th at 1:00 pm Why is Estate Planning Especially Important If you Are Single, Arlington Center 55+ at Walter Reed Senior Center, 2909 S 16th St. Arlington, Virginia 22204

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