Monthly Archives: September 2011

Understanding Medicaid

Nursing home care and Medicaid in Massachusetts.The process of applying for Medicaid can be difficult to understand. The first time many people begin to even think about entering this process is when a loved one requires nursing home care or such care is imminent. Many times applying for Medicaid is reactive to situations such as these and emotions are usually running quite high. In many instances the applicant tries to complete the process as quickly as possible and doesn’t pay close enough attention to some of the details – resulting in their application being declined. Since the Medicaid field is always changing it’s important to do your due diligence when going through this process.

What is Medicaid?

Medicaid was created in 1965 as a part of the Social Security Act as a form of welfare for individuals and families with low income/resources who require long-term medical care. Often confused with Medicare, Medicaid is a joint federal-state funded program which is run by each individual state. While eligibility rules are often different from state to state, each system must adhere to federal guidelines in order to receive funding (which is usually about half of the state’s Medicaid costs).

What are the eligibility requirements for Medicaid?

Since each state operates its own Medicaid program there are often discrepancies in eligibility depending on which state the applicant lives in (the Medicaid program in Massachusetts is referred to as MassHealth).  You may be eligible to apply for Medicaid if you have limited resources and fall into any of the following categories: children requiring nursing home care (some states up to age 21), parents/guardians of eligible children (under age 18), pregnant women, people with certain disabilities, and elderly persons needing nursing home care. Each individual case is different so it is important to contact an expert on elder law services to help assess your situation. For more information about whether or not you may be eligible to apply for Medicaid click here.

For further assistance in this complicated process contact the law offices of Adam J. Tobin today!

Deferrals and Exemptions for Mass Elderly Tax

Massachusetts offers tax deferrals and exemptions for elderly

Massachusetts offers tax deferrals and exemptions for elderly

When it comes to Estate Planning several laws implemented that allow senior citizens to reduce the amount they have to pay on property tax and/or be able to defer the tax payments during their life span.

In order to be eligible for these tax bill reductions, you or your loved one must resided in Massachusetts and be over the age of 65.

The way the Massachusetts elderly tax deferral works is that it allows a senior homeowner to postpone property tax payments until the differed amount reaches 50 percent of the property value. During the deferral time frame, the tax amount gains 8 percent of interest annually, but depending on local property tax policies, the rate can be even lower.

As mentioned before, to be eligible for this benefit, the claimant must be 65 years or older, must be a resident of Massachusetts with property for five years, and have lived in the state for the last 10 years. There’s no cap on the assets claimed by the applicant, can’t surpass an income of $20,000-$40,000. For further details, check with your local town about income level requirements.

There are also a few tax exemptions for senior citizens available as well in Massachusetts. For the most part, these exemptions have a much stricter requirements and asset limitations, which can vary from town to town.

If you would like to learn more about Massachusetts Elderly property tax exemptions and deferrals, and how to apply, please contact your Massachusetts elder law lawyer at Adam Tobin Law Offices today!