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At Zacharia Brown, we recognize our clients concerns about the spread of COVID-19. As a result, we are offering video consultation appointments for client meetings. If you have an appointment with us, or are scheduling one in the future and have any concerns about coming into our office, please inquire about how to schedule a…

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Report Ranks States on Nursing Home Quality and Shows Families’ Conflicted Views

A new report that combines nursing home quality data with a survey of family members ranks the best and worst states for care and paints a picture of how Americans view nursing homes. The website Care.com analyzed Medicare’s nursing home ratings to identify the states with the best and worst overall nursing home quality ratings. Using Medicare’s…

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Veteran’s Benefits: Avoiding Scams and Securing Assistance

At the end of last year, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) finalized new rules that made it more difficult to qualify for VA Pension Benefits. This change includes the “Aid and Attendance” benefits available to low-income veterans (or their spouses) who are  in nursing homes or who need help at home to perform everyday tasks,…

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Feds Release 2019 Guidelines Used to Protect the Spouses of Medicaid Applicants

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released the 2019 federal guidelines for how much money the spouses of institutionalized Medicaid recipients may keep, as well as related Medicaid figures. In 2019, the spouse of a Medicaid recipient living in a nursing home (called the “community spouse”) may keep as much as $126,420…

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Why Not Just Use an Off-the-Shelf Power of Attorney Form?

A durable power of attorney is one of the most important estate planning documents you can have. It allows you to appoint someone to act for you (your “agent” or “attorney-in-fact”) if you become incapacitated. Without a power of attorney, your loved ones would not be able to make decisions for you or manage your…

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Learn About Social Security’s Online Tools

With the aging population becoming increasingly tech savvy, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has moved a lot of services online. From applying for Social Security benefits to replacing a card, the SSA has online tools to help. To access most of the online services, you need to create a mySocial Security account. This account allows you to…

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It’s Now Harder for Veterans to Qualify for Long-Term Care Benefits

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has finalized new rules that make it more difficult to qualify for long-term care benefits. The rules establish an asset limit, a look-back period, and asset transfer penalties for claimants applying for VA pension benefits that require a showing of financial need. The principal such benefit for those needing…

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How to Handle Sibling Disputes Over a Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is one of the most important estate planning documents, but when one sibling is named in a power of attorney, there is the potential for disputes with other siblings. No matter which side you are on, it is important to know your rights and limitations. A power of attorney allows someone…

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New Law Expands Benefits for Chronically Ill Medicare Advantage Beneficiaries

Congress has expanded benefits for Medicare recipients with chronic conditions in its latest budget bill. The law gives some Medicare plans the option of covering certain non-medical benefits and also increases telehealth services. Passed with bipartisan support as part of the budget bill approved in early 2018, the Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to…

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Staying Safe in the Summer Heat!

As we make our way through the hottest month of the year, it is a perfect time to review some helpful safety tips for seniors in beating the heat. To that end, we are happy to share this guest blog from Alarms.com. The frequency of heat waves has grown higher and higher in recent years,…

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