The Times They Are a-Changin’

By Kathleen Rodberg

Welcome to the first ever blog post on the NCBA’s Elder & Special Needs Law Section blog!  As many of you know, last year the council voted to move toward a blog format instead of a newsletter.  It is our hope that this will allow for the sharing of more current information relevant to an elder and special needs law practice.  If you want to contribute information or an article to the blog, please contact Kathleen Rodberg at krodberg@mwblawyers.com.

This post is to notify you of the following recent changes to our practice area:

  • On September 18, 2018, the Department of Veteran Affairs published its final rules regarding net worth, asset transfers, and income exclusion for needs-based benefits.  The rules became effective October 18, 2018.  In sum, the improved pension (commonly referred to as “Aid and Attendance”) programs now have clearer rules concerning eligibility.  These rules are not the same as the long-term care Medicaid rules and you should study the final published rules.  The final rules may be viewed at this link.
  • On June 18, 2018, North Carolina published Change Notice 04-18 to the Long-Term Care Medicaid Manual.  This change updated MA-2240 XII.B. to increase the divisor used to calculate a transfer penalty to $6,810.  You can read the change notice here and the updated manual provisions here.
  • On August 17, 2018, a State Plan Amendment to North Carolina’s State Medicaid Plan received final approval effective October 1, 2018.  The 2018 Amendment updates some definitions and provisions concerning the Medicaid Estate Recovery program, and can be read here. The 2018 Amendment revised a 2017 State Plan Amendment established a “deferral” of estate recovery in situations of undue hardship or survival by a spouse or disabled child, instead of a permanent waiver of estate recovery.  The 2017 Amendment may be read here.