These days, residents of Kansas City are finding their lifespans increasing more than those of their fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers. This could be due to a number of factors, including an increase in awareness about living a healthy lifestyle through proper diet and exercise and the ever-increasing advancements in medical care. This also means that more people than ever before may find themselves needing long-term care, including spending their elder years in an assisted living facility or nursing home.

However, such facilities can be prohibitively expensive, and their costs will only increase over the next couple of decades. However, there is help available in the form of Medicaid benefits that can offset the costs of nursing home residency, so that people can afford the care they need.

Unfortunately, the application process for Medicaid benefits can be complex and utterly overwhelming, particularly for married couples. Mistakes can be especially costly, as they may delay the issuance of benefits or even disqualify a person altogether. In addition, the improper transfer of assets or gifts prior to applying for benefits could also lead to a delay or disqualification of benefits.

The requirements for obtaining Medicaid benefits differ between states. Moreover, each state has its own maximum income levels for a person to qualify for benefits. In addition, the total amount of a person’s assets cannot be more than the Individual Resource Allowance set by the state.

It may be helpful to consider seeking the advice of an attorney before applying for Medicaid benefits. An attorney may be able to help their client create an asset protection plan. Such plans could lower the amount a person’s estate is worth, which may be the key in qualifying that person for benefits, all while allowing them to provide an inheritance to their loved ones. The law firm of Stockton & Stern, LLC, has a webpage about Medicaid planning available to help those who need to learn more about the application process.

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