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Public Benefits

When you reach the stage of life where you need help, there are many options to consider. The choices available to you will depend on your specific situation. Maybe you just need a little help with everyday tasks or perhaps you require full-time skilled nursing care. You may qualify for government assistance, such as Medicaid, Veteran’s benefits or Social Security Programs. If you have long-term care insurance, you may have different options. Leu & Peirce can help you examine your options and make the right choices to ensure you get the care you need, when you need it.

Long-term skilled nursing care typically bears a heavy price tag. Unfortunately, Medicare and other types of health insurance do not cover long-term care beyond an initial period of rehabilitation. The attorneys at Leu & Peirce can help you evaluate your options to ensure you or a loved one get the care needed.

Leu & Peirce can provide advice and assistance with all aspects of public benefits planning, including preparations for responding to claims for Medicaid recovery after the death of the recipient. If you have any questions, please contact us!

Medicaid Prequalification

The Medicaid qualification process can be complicated and confusing. The attorneys of Leu & Peirce can provide the advice and assistance you need to understand and navigate this process. Medicaid eligibility requires, in part, the following:

  • A diagnosis of medical necessity
  • Age of at least 65 or a disability
  • The ability to meet certain asset and income limits

For a single person, the limit is $2,000 in assets and $2,022 per month in income. Married individuals may have greater assets under a formula designed to ensure the spouse who is remaining at home will retain the necessary means of support.  What if you have assets or income beyond these limits?  Never assume you do not qualify, or attempt to "spend down" to those limits, without obtaining advice. We can help you evaluate your financial position and determine whether there are options available to you under current Medicaid eligibility rules.

Long-Term Care Not Covered by Medicare

Many people over the age of 65 are fortunate to have their doctor visits, prescription medications, and hospital care covered primarily by Medicare. They are often surprised and frustrated to learn, though, that Medicare does not cover long-term skilled nursing care, which typically runs from $3,000 to $6,000 each month. What do you do if you or your loved one needs the assistance provided in a skilled nursing facility but you do not have the resources necessary to pay for this care? If you have the benefit of time to plan in advance, you may have many options, including the possibility of purchasing long-term care insurance. Lori can help you evaluate these options. If the need for skilled nursing care is imminent, Lori can help you evaluate your ability to qualify for government benefits, including Medicaid and VA benefits.

Miller Trust

Many people receive income greater than $2,022 per month, but that is not enough to pay for a skilled nursing facility. One option that is allowed under the Medicaid eligibility rules is the creation of a Qualified Income Trust (also known as a "Miller Trust"). We can help determine whether a Miller Trust is the right solution for you or your loved one, and guide you in the creation and proper administration of the trust to ensure that Medicaid eligibility is not endangered.

Senior Housing

As health care improves and more people are living longer, it is likely that many will need some type of assistance with everything from the tasks of daily living to full-time medical care. Fortunately, the available options are continuously expanding. Lori can help you examine your options, evaluate contracts, and advocate on your behalf to ensure your interests are protected.


Social Security programs are designed to benefit senior adults. Many can receive monthly checks and medical benefits through two programs:  Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Here are the differences between the two:

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

  • Benefits for disabled people (certain dependents included)
  • Individuals must have paid FICA taxes (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) into the Social Security trust fund

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

  • A needs-based program that provides financial aid for disabled people who qualify as low-income
  • You can receive SSI program benefits regardless of employment history

In order to qualify for disability aid (SSDI or SSI), you must confirm that you have a medical condition that is terminal, or that will last for a minimum of one year, and that you are not able to do any work because of this. Be sure to have sufficient medical proof or you may be denied.We can help you navigate the claims process and offer our assistance in your interactions with the Social Security Administration. We can help you complete your applications and forms and collect the appropriate medical documentation needed. If you are denied, we can help appeal your claim. If a hearing is required to determine eligibility, we will prepare you for this hearing and present your case before the judge.

Remember to seek qualified legal counsel if you need help with a social security claim.

Do you have questions or comments? Contact us!

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