Special Assistance

Attorney Bill Alexander discussed these issues and more this past Tuesday on W.G. Alexander & Associates’ radio program, “Asset Protection Today,” on TalkRadio 850 WPTF (AM). Be sure to listen every Tuesday morning from 9:00-10:00 AM.

When it comes to growing older, our health care system does not always help us pay for chronic long-term health care needs, such as Nursing or Assisted Living facility care costs. Often, seniors must privately pay for this care or move in with their children, but few want to give up their independence or become a burden on their loved ones.

Special Assistance is a North Carolina program solely for those in Assisted Living facilities and who need help with their activities of daily living (ADLs). There are many confusing parts about the Special Assistance program—most people refer to it as “Medicaid,” even though the two are completely separate programs with different eligibility rules and are designed for different types of facilities requiring different levels of care.

Special Assistance is a “means tested” program; that is, eligibility is based upon your income and your assets. The Special Assistance program can be very helpful, but a seriously limiting factor is the income cap. If you are in an Assisted Living facility and your gross monthly income exceeds $1,247.50, you will NOT eligible for the Special Assistance program. If you are in a special care unit (sometimes called an Alzheimer’s or dementia care unit) at an Assisted Living facility, your gross monthly income must not exceed $1,580.50. It is important to know that if your gross income is above these caps, you will not be eligible for Special Assistance, even if you are destitute without assets of any kind.

See an Elder Law professional before you apply for Special Assistance, as there are complicated rules that may cause your application to be denied. Contact W.G. Alexander & Associates today.

To listen to this week’s show, please visit WPTF’s on demand show blog by clicking here.