On September 2nd, 2015, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued a major decision that could affect thousands of Pennsylvania nursing home residents. If you have a family member in the nursing home, this case is very important to you.
The case began when the wife of a nursing home resident sought the help of an elder law attorney to advise her on how she might avoid losing her assets to her husband’s expensive nursing home bill.
She followed her attorney’s advice and used a little-known asset protection technique. The strategy can expedite eligibility for Medicaid benefits, thereby saving substantial funds for the nursing home resident.
While Federal law specifically authorizes the technique, Pennsylvania denied the wife’s Medicaid application. Almost two years ago, the lower court agreed with Pennsylvania and penalized the wife for implementing the strategy. As a result, for the last two years, Pennsylvania has been the only state in the country where this technique has been barred.
In an opinion issued last week, the appeals court reversed the lower court decision, instead ruling that the family had followed Federal law and that Pennsylvania had wrongfully denied the Medicaid application.
What does this mean? Many Pennsylvania nursing home residents currently paying thousands of dollars monthly could implement the strategy to protect assets and avoid going broke due to long term care costs.
If you have a family member paying privately for nursing home care, this case may pave the way to huge savings and faster Medicaid eligibility. This is a huge win for Pennsylvania’s seniors.
To learn whether this case may apply to your family, please call Heritage Elder Law & Estate Planning, LLC at (724) 841-0004 or visit our website for a No Cost telephone consultation. During this call you will get to speak with one of our attorneys for free to determine if you may qualify. If we think we can help you, we will invite you for a free meeting to begin the process.