Single Person Medicaid Success Story

Dawid-zawila-279998-unsplashWe were recently referred to an individual whose aunt was living in a nursing home.  The administrator of the nursing home told the nephew to contact our office to see if there would be anything that we could to assist.  The aunt was a single individual who had lost a husband years ago. The aunt and her husband worked very hard during their lifetime, and at various times both of them had at least two jobs.  

The aunt talked openly to her family about the fact that her nephew was everything that she had, and that she wanted to make sure that her nephew received something from her and her husband when they died.  Unfortunately, the aunt, being alone, was not able to continue to live in her home alone and had to move into a nursing home. She has been living in a nursing home for over a year and was receiving excellent care.  The administrator of the nursing home knew of the aunt’s wishes and told them to give us a call to see if there would be anything that we could do to help.

At the time that we became involved, the aunt was down to approximately $100,000 in assets and a house that was worth about $150,000.  The nephew had heard that he would have to spend down the $100,000 in her assets and get his aunt qualified for Medicaid while keeping the house, because there is an exception in the law that says that as long as the aunt has an “intent to return home,” he would be able to get her qualified for Medicaid.  What the nephew did not realize until our meeting was that if you exempt the home with the intent to return home, the State has a right to lien the property up to the amount of care that was provided. The nephew felt defeated when he learned that and was convinced that there would be nothing that we’d be able to do to help.  He was wrong.

In Pennsylvania, even in a situation where an individual is single, we are able to protect half of the assets, but at least half of the assets have to be in cash to be able to do so.  In this case, the overall value of the estate was $250,000, which means that we needed about $125,000 in cash. The nephew decided to put in $25,000 of his own money to give us $125,000 of cash that we needed.  In return, we were able to deed the property to the nephew and preserve the home. The aunt has dementia, so the likelihood is that she will live for an extended period of time in the nursing home, as she is only in her early 80s.  By the nephew putting in $25,000 of his own money, he was able to get a property in his name worth at least $150,000, and he is hopeful that if he is able to clean it up a little bit, he’ll be able to sell it for even more than that.  The best part of this story is that the aunt is able to still live in a facility that is providing tremendous care for her, and she is also able to provide a legacy for her nephew, her home.

We are grateful to the nursing home administrator who thought of our firm and knew that we would be able to assist.  We are very pleased that we were able to give the family the outcome that they were looking for and the ability to carry on both the aunt’s and uncle’s wishes, even though he is no longer with us.

If you want to talk about your unique family situation contact us today.  You can click here or call us at 717-845-5390.

Jeffrey Bellomo, Esq.

Are you a pessimist or an optimist?

Glass-300558_640Research shows that optimistic people tend to be much happier and successful in life than pessimists. Pessimism often leads to depression and missing out on the joy of life. So how can we be more optimistic and lead a happier, more successful lives?

Pessimists look at new opportunities and think to themselves, “Nah, it probably won’t work for me,” and they are usually right. Most things don’t work the first time. So as a result, pessimists don’t take enough chances to try for what they want. Optimism is a mindset that anyone can learn to get what they want in life. Optimism involves the willingness to take chances, fail and try again with a good attitude. Those who take chances, end up winning once in a while, and eventually get what they want.

A case study from MetLife shows that optimistic people are far more successful than pessimists. In fact, according to their research, people who ranked among the top 10% of most optimistic people sold 88% more new business than those who were rated as the most pessimistic. Optimism is infectious, so customers naturally want to do more business with optimists vs. pessimists. Put optimism to work at the office, and you are more likely to get that promotion over your gloomier pessimistic counterparts.

Pessimism, particularly extreme pessimism, is often actually a symptom of depression. It can work both ways – pessimistic thought patterns can lead a person to depression, or a person can become depressed and therefore become a pessimist. If you want to stave off depression, then one of the most important things you can do is to start living with a more positive, optimistic outlook.

As with everything, however, optimism should be in moderation. Research has also shown that while pessimists are more likely to become depressed, unrealistic optimists are even more likely than pessimists to become depressed. Unrealistic optimists tend to set themselves up for disappointment, whether that is through the pursuit of highly unlikely career paths or through other unrealistic and overly optimistic expectations.

A realistic yet optimistic outlook will make you healthier, wealthier and happier. However, make sure that you don’t overdo it. Temper your optimism with a little bit of realistic pessimism, and you’ll be able to take advantage of opportunities as they come without setting yourself up for disappointment.

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.”


Is your glass half empty or half full?

Jeffrey Bellomo, Esq.

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A Financial Success Story for a Nursing Home Resident

William-montout-327164-unsplashA family was recently referred to us by a local nursing home because the wife had a stroke and she is going to need care for the foreseeable future.  The nursing home social worker was talking with the husband, who was scared because he had a modest amount of money that he has accumulated during his lifetime, but was nervous that it would not take long at $11,400 a month for him to not be able to provide for himself in the future.  

For help with that problem, the Pennsylvania Medicaid spousal rules are certainly a great start and provide that as the community spouse, the husband would be allowed to keep the house, his car, his retirement account, and one-half of the remaining assets, up to a maximum in 2019 of $126,420.00 and no less than $25,284.00 (those amounts change each year).  The social worker explained this to the husband and he still had some trepidation, being only in his late 50s, wanting to know if that would be enough for him to live another 50 years of his life. He loved the nursing home that he was able to get his wife into and was excited about the care that she will receive.

After several sleepless nights for him, the social worker told him to give us a call and I met with him recently.  The husband is an absolute joy to work with and was very appreciative of the care that his wife was receiving. He was ecstatic when I was able to tell him that we would be able to not only protect the aforementioned items, but also the additional $350,000 on top of the $124,000 that was guaranteed under the law.

We were able to put the plan in place and did get approval on the Medicaid application.  It is very rare in our profession that family members hug or show outward affection toward their lawyers.  I will never forget the moment when we received the application and I was able to tell my client that we were able to protect the items that he knew about, but in addition to that, the other monies that he had feared of losing.  

With tears in his eyes, he hugged me and said, Jeff I will never be able to repay you. I appreciate everything that the nursing home has done for me and for my wife, but it is also comforting to know that now I don’t have to worry about how I’m going to live for the remainder of my life and the care that I receive.

We are pleased to report that this outcome is a very common for our clients; we have been able to secure this result for hundreds of clients in and around York, Pennsylvania.  If you or a family member have a loved one in a nursing home and need assistance, please call us (717-845-5390) or click here and give us a little information and we’ll call you, and it will be our pleasure to make this success story yours.

Jeffrey Bellomo

Shrimp Scampi Supreme

Fish-722013_640Here’s another Bellomo family favorite from Mom’s cookbooks.

Shrimp Scampi Supreme (Irene Cigan)


  • 2 lb. fresh jumbo shrimp
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
  • 1/4 C. olive oil
  • 1/4 C. melted butter
  • 1/8  tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced

Shell and de-vein raw shrimp, leaving tail on. Split each lengthwise 1 inch from the head. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Dip shrimp into the mixture and place in a shallow pan in a single layer. Pour remaining sauce over the shrimp. Top with a sprinkle of flavored bread crumbs. Broil 8 to 10 minutes. 4 servings.  



Rich vs. Poor: A State of Mind

Morning-2264051_640“How you see the world. How you deal with it. That determines your real wealth.”

– God (from the ‘Joan of Arcadia’ TV series)

One day, the father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the express purpose of showing him how poor people live. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family.

On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, “How was the trip?”

“It was great, Dad.”

“Did you see how poor people live?” the father asked.

“Oh yeah,” said the son.

“So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?”, asked the father

The son answered:

“I saw that we have one dog and they had four.

“We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end.

“We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night.

“Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon.

“We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight.

“We have servants who serve us, but they serve others.

“We buy our food, but they grow theirs.

“We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them.”

The boy’s father was speechless. Then his son added…

“Thanks, Dad for showing me how poor we are.”

…When I first saw this story, I was touched and I’m grateful for the opportunity to pass it along to you as well.

P.S. One thing I love about this story is that it holds two messages simultaneously: One, we can feel abundant no matter what we have, and two, we all deserve abundance however we define that.

Perhaps, we are all “rich” in our own special way.

Adapted from the blog Walnut, California

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