Assets Key to Long-Term Care System

Question: I have been caring for my father for about a year, and I cannot provide him with the assistance he needs. We looked into applying for ALTCS, but my dad has too many assets to qualify. The ALTCS representative warned us against transferring dad’s assets. Is it possible for him to instead pay me for the services I have provided him as a means to help him meet the resource requirement?
Answer: There are two primary rules at play here. First, your father must meet a resource requirement to qualify for ALTCS long-term care coverage. Second, ALTCS penalizes applicants who attempt to satisfy the resource requirement by transferring assets without compensation. The answer to your question, then, centers on whether the services you provided to your father would justly compensate him for any payment that he might give you.
To begin, ALTCS does allow for compensation in the form of personal care services. For this approach to work, however, there are certain requirements that have to be met. Most importantly, there has to be a valid personalcare contract that outlines the terms of the agreement. To be valid, a personalcare contract must specify the type, frequency and time to be spent providing services. Further, the contract must specify the amount and frequency of payment, and such frequency should be no less than monthly while services are being provided. Finally, the personalcare contract needs to be executed before the provision of services.
If a personal-care contract was not executed before you provided your father with services, I would probably advise you to pursue other strategies for helping your father spend down.
Richard White is an elder law attorney at JacksonWhite Attorneys at Law. For more information on Elder Law at JacksonWhite, please visit www.ArizonaSeniorLaw.com.
This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace individual legal advice.
Aging and the Law is authored by the attorneys at JacksonWhite and addresses legal issues that arise for the elderly and their families. Questions can be sent to firm@jacksonwhitelaw.com.