Preserving Resources for Well Spouse

Preserving Resources for Well-Spouse

Question: I was told that my ALTCS application was denied because I, the “well spouse”, had more than the one-half of the marital resources that ALTCS allows a well spouse to keep.  We are now in the process of reapplying, but now that I have spent my spouse’s one-half, I will also spend much of my spouse’s one-half during the months in which the new application processes.  Could this dilemma been prevented?

Answer: Given that ALTCS can take several months to process an application, the issue of who will pay for care while the application processes oftentimes arises.  In cases in which the applicant is married, the concerns are at least two-fold:  Obtaining care for the applicant is of paramount importance, but it is also critical that the well spouse preserves enough funds to sustain the quality of life to which he or she is accustomed.

The best way to preserve resources for a well spouse is to make sure that everything is in order before submitting the application.  It could take ALTCS several months to process an application, whether or not the application is ultimately approved.  And if ALTCS denies the application, you will have lost those months in which the application processed, and have to start the process anew.

While the general rule is that a well spouse can keep about one-half of the marital assets, there are oftentimes planning strategies to help the well-spouse maximize his or her resources.  But here again, the best way for a well spouse to accomplish this goal is to be proactive and engage in planning well before submitting the application to ALTCS.

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