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Three things you need to understand when preparing for government benefits

by | Apr 19, 2021 | Firm News |

For anyone getting older, retirement is an exciting time, but it can also be fraught with anxiety and nervousness. There are many complicated details around determining retirement, healthcare, estate planning and other important factors.

The good news is that an experienced attorney can help you through the numerous complications and create a plan to serve your overall needs.

When looking into the possibilities for your late-life planning, these are three of the most essential considerations:

  1. Medicare complications: Medicare is a federal program that can cover some of the costs of hospital care and other medical needs. However, the process of obtaining benefits can be arduous, requiring knowledge and experience.
  2. Medicaid lookback period: The Medicaid program in Ohio and Kentucky have a five-year lookback period. To qualify for benefits, your assets need to be below a certain eligibility threshold. If you are over the threshold, you will not obtain the full benefits to which you are entitled. Because of this, many people are tempted to give away or sell their assets off before applying for Medicaid. However, Medicaid’s five-year lookback period means that any assets transferred below fair market value within five years before applying for benefits will count against your eligibility.
  3. Your long-term care needs: Depending on your overall health, your family relationships and other factors, you will need to determine what options will be best for your long-term care needs. There are numerous long-term care facilities like nursing homes and assisted living, numerous in-home care options and numerous personal solutions that should be considered.

With all of these considerations, an experienced elder law attorney can help you understand the various benefits and challenges to all the choices you are facing. A lawyer who understands the complex landscape of elder law will be able to integrate all of your choices to make sure the various benefits packages all work together in concert in a unified way.