Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The In-Home Supportive Services Program

What is the In-Home Supportive Services Program? The IHSS Program will help pay for services provided to you so that you can remain safely in your own home. To be eligible, you must be over 65 years of age, or disabled, or blind. Disabled children are also eligible for IHSS. The program is considered an alternative to out-of-home care, such as nursing homes or board and care facilities.

What Types of Services are Provided Through IHSS? The types of services which can be authorized through IHSS are housecleaning, meal preparation, laundry, grocery shopping, personal care services (such as bowel and bladder care, bathing, grooming and paramedical services), accompaniment to medical appointments, and protective supervision for the mentally impaired.

Who May Be Eligible for IHSS?

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or State Supplementary Payment Recipients (SSP) – A person may still be eligible even if they do not receive SSI/SSP the person: 1) meets SSI/SSP criteria but does not receive SSI/SSP; 2) meets all SSI/SSP criteria except the income requirement; 3) meets all SSI/SSP disability criteria and is a Medi-Cal recipient.
  • Other Requirements:
    • Must be a California resident that is a U.S. Citizen or Qualified Alien.
    • Must live at a home or abode of your own choosing.
    • Personal property may not exceed $2,000 for an individual, or $3,000 for a couple. This includes cash, bank accounts, stocks, loans, cars (except the one needed for medical appointments or work), and real property (except the home that you own and live in).

IHSS and Medi-Cal Benefits: IHSS recipients are automatically eligible for Medi-Cal for their medical/health care. For most people who qualify for IHSS, the in-home care benefits are paid for under the Personal Care Services Program (PCSP) which is a Medi-Cal benefit. Under certain circumstances, the State of California will have the right to have your estate pay for the cost of some Medi-Cal benefits received after age 55, upon your admission to a skilled Nursing facility.

Joseph E. Deering

632 Arizona Avenue
Santa Monica, California 90401
Telephone (310) 393-0701

The Assisting Living Waiver

What is the Assisted Living Waiver? The ALW is a Medi-Cal program that aims to provide care and other benefits to eligible seniors or other persons with disabilities who reside in Los Angeles, Sacramento, or San Joaquin Counties.

Participants in the Assisted Living Waiver will have access to four waiver benefits:

  • Assisted Living Services - These services are called the Assisted Living Services when they’re provided in an RCFE and Assisted Care when they’re provided by a licensed Home Health Agency and delivered to residents of publicly-funded housing.

  • Care Coordination - These services include identifying, organizing, coordinating and monitoring services needed by a participant. Care Coordinators enroll clients, conduct assessments, develop Individualized Service Plans (ISPs), arrange for services, maintain contact with participants, and monitor service delivery.

  • Environmental Accessibility Adaptations - This benefit provides for physical adaptations to the residence in a publicly-funded setting, as identified by the residents’ ISPs.

  • Nursing Facility Transition Care Coordination - This benefit helps transition residents from nursing facilities to the community.

Who is eligible for the ALW? To be eligible to participate in the ALW, you must be enrolled in the Medi-Cal program and be in need of the care provided by a nursing facility. If you meet these requirements, you may be eligible to choose to enroll in the ALW and receive services as an alternative to long-term placement in a nursing facility. To determine if you are eligible to participate, contact a Care Coordinator in your county.

Joseph E. Deering

632 Arizona Avenue
Santa Monica, California 90401
Telephone (310) 393-0701

Pet Trusts

Pet trusts are the best way to ensure that your pet is provided for in the event of your incapacity or death. Key questions for you to consider:

The Pet – Which pet, or pets, are to be provided for by the pet trust?

Be specific. The trustee needs to be able to make sure that the correct pet is receiving the proper care, and that the caregiver is receiving funds for the right pet.

The Care – What kind of care are you providing for?

Some owners create long, specific lists to ensure that their pets receive very close to the same treatment as when the owner was alive. Typical care provisions include: the amount of exercise per week, the type of medical care or medications, the type of food, etc.

The Trustee – Who can you rely on to handle the trust funds and watch over the treatment that the caregiver is providing your pet?

Don’t forget to give second or third options for the trustee, as well as the caregiver.

The Caregiver – Who can you trust to provide loving care to your pet and watch out for its well being?

Typically someone who either has a rapport with the pet, or someone that has a clear love of animals and has shown the capability of caring for them (including animal care organizations). Don’t forget that you can provide compensation to the caregiver if you desire.

Afterward – After your pet, or pets, pass on, what would you like to happen to your pet’s remains and the remainder of the trust funds?

Some owners give the remainder of the funds to individual beneficiaries, and others decide to donate the funds to different organizations (charitable, educational, or otherwise).

If you have a pet that you love, consider the questions above, and speak to an attorney today about setting up a pet trust.

Joseph E. Deering

632 Arizona Avenue
Santa Monica, California 90401
Telephone (310) 393-0701