Long-term health care is generally looked at as something that is age-specific. And while it is certainly true that the majority of those who apply for ALTCS/Medicaid belong to the senior population, there are many younger people who require long-term health care as well. For instance, serious accidents and disabilities many times place younger individuals in a skilled nursing facility. And, in these instances, ALTCS/Medicaid becomes a real consideration.
When an individual requires long-term health care as a result of an accident, ALTCS planning involves more than just qualifying for Arizona Medicaid. This is particularly true when the injured person expects to receive a settlement as a result of the accident that caused his or her injury. Because ALTCS/Medicaid is a needs based program, an injury settlement could render the applicant ineligible for the ALTCS benefit. Faced with the options of receiving assistance to pay for necessary care and receiving fair compensation for an injury, accident victims should use a legal tool called a special needs trust in their ALTCS planning to help them receive all that they are entitled to.
An Elder Law attorney can help accident victims establish a special needs trust that will allow them to receive an injury settlement without jeopardizing their eligibility for ALTCS/Medicaid. Once the special needs trust is established, money from the injury settlement is directed to the trust, and not counted for purposes of determining ALTCS eligibility. Of course, there is a litany of rules that regulate special needs trusts, and trustees must be very careful not to do anything with trust funds that will cause ALTCS eligibility problems for the trust beneficiary. An Elder Law attorney can help trustees and beneficiaries understand these rules.