During a 20-year career in Elder Law, there are a lot of things that will stick with you. But one thing has become clear to me; Being a lawyer is not for the faint of heart. We often will be pinned as the “Bad Guys.” Sometimes, even when we try our hardest, going above and beyond, and no matter how fast our team works, it isn’t always enough. It can become discouraging, and we sometimes lose sight of what the goal is. We forget why we work so hard and become lost in thinking that we will never be enough. But it only takes one compliment or happy client to remind us why we do what we do.
Recently, a family was referred to us by a local nursing home. The wife recently had a stroke and needed long-term care. The husband was concerned because although he had saved a lot during his lifetime, he knew that it would not last long with the high monthly cost of nursing facilities and he would then be unable 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 2022 of $137,400.00 and no less than $27,480.00 (those amounts change each year). A social worker at the facility explained all of this to the husband, but he still had some reservations. He was only in his late 50s at the time, not knowing if that would be enough for him to live another 50 years of his life with. He loved the facility where his wife was placed and was excited about the level of care she would receive and wanted her to be able to stay there. After several sleepless nights for the husband, the social worker at the facility suggested that he give our office a call. When I met with him, he was such a joy to work with and so appreciative when I told him that we would be able to not only the items above but also the additional $350,000 on top of the $137,400 that is guaranteed under the law.
I will never forget the moment we received the application and I was able to tell the husband that we not only protected the items that we already talked about, but we were also able to protect the other monies that he had feared losing. It is rare in our profession that family members hug or show outward affection towards their lawyers, but with tears in his eyes, he hugs me and says, “Jeff, I will never be able to repay you. I appreciate everything that the nursing home has done for me and 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 one 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, and it will be our pleasure to make this success story yours.