The average cost of nursing home care in Louisiana is approximately $6000 per month and those costs can quickly deplete the nest egg you have saved making it impossible to leave material assets to those you want to have them. Ideally, nursing home costs would be paid for with a long-term care insurance policy. However, only a very small percentage of the population has a long-term care insurance policy to cover these costs and they must look to alternate resources to pay long term care costs. Medicaid is the source that is most often used for this purpose. Medicaid was created in 1965 and is a joint federal and state program which provides medical care to eligible persons. It also provides funds for long-term care for the impoverished elderly and disabled. According to the General Accounting Office, Medicaid accounts for almost 50% of long-term care costs in 2003.

Know The Medicaid Law to Preserve Your Family Legacy
In 2005, a new law was passed making it more difficult for families to qualify for Medicaid to pay for nursing home costs while still preserving the family’s property. However, with proper Medicaid and estate planning, there are still things that can be done to accomplish both goals. At Legacy Estate & Elder Law of Louisiana, LLC, we know estate planning and the latest strategies to help you preserve a lasting legacy for your family.

Medicaid Law Counseling
If you or a loved one needs more information about Medicaid law, VA benefits, or estate planning, please contact us to schedule a Medicaid Counseling session.

Who Is Eligible for VA Benefits?
A common misconception is that only those veterans who were disabled while serving on active duty are entitled to veterans’ benefits. This type of benefit (known as “compensation”) is available only to those whose disability is connected to the veteran’s service, but it is not the only type of benefit offered. Another type of benefit called the veterans “pension” may be available to help meet the costs of long-term care for wartime veterans or their surviving spouses, even if their current medical needs are not associated with their service. This pension has several eligibility requirements.

Requirements for VA Benefits
• The claimant must be a veteran, or a surviving spouse of a veteran, who served on active duty for a period of at least 90 consecutive days during a period of war. Service in combat is not required, but the veteran must have served during wartime and must have been honorably discharged.

• The claimant must be over 65 or be permanently and totally disabled.

• The claimant must satisfy both an income and assets test. A veteran or the surviving spouse of a veteran who meets the eligibility requirements for pension may also be entitled to an extra monthly amount if they are “housebound” or in need of the regular aid and attendance of someone else to assist with their activities of daily living.

Here at the Legacy Estate & Elder Law of Louisiana, LLC, we assist veterans and their surviving spouses in determining whether these benefits are available and helping them through the process of applying, if they are eligible. Linda S. Melancon, an attorney and the owner of the Legacy Estate & Elder Law of Louisiana, LLC, is accredited by the Veterans Administration to give advice regarding VA benefits, which may include advice about compensation, pension and/or aid and attendance benefits.

Any comprehensive long-term care plan should consider the availability of VA benefits, as well as Medicaid or other sources of funding to help pay for that care. At the Legacy Estate & Elder Law of Louisiana, LLC, we are educated on these benefits so we can make sure we provide you with the best advice to help you navigate the maze of long-term care financing.

VA Benefits & Long-term Care Consultation
If you or a loved one needs home care, assisted living care, or nursing home care (or if you want to plan in case you need this care in the future), and live in Baton Rouge or any other Louisiana parishes, please contact us to schedule an appointment to discuss what VA benefits and other sources of funding may be available for you or your spouse.

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