One of the more frustrating aspects of this line of work is when a family comes in whose loved one needs some care, but the individual (or family) has limited financial resources to pay for it. Maybe the loved one needs assistance with a few activities of daily living (dressing, bathing, sitting and standing, and the like), maybe they’re a fall risk who needs supervision for their waking hours, or maybe it’s a combination of concerns. And maybe the family is chipping in, providing some of the care themselves or maybe there’s a caregiver in place but the caregiver can only work 20 hours a week because that’s all the individual can afford. Maybe it’s a married couple and, while they have some, not a ton, of financial resources, one of the spouses needs a lot of care on a daily basis and the other spouse doesn’t want to move them to a facility.
We are often presented with these situations and when the family comes to us, they’re hoping we can give them the good news. They’re hoping there are some benefits out there to help pay for that loved one’s care so he/she can safely remain living at home. And sometimes there are. Sometimes if the person qualifies for Veterans benefits as a military veteran or surviving spouse then we can get them some extra money to put toward their care and at least help them stretch their money as long as possible to stay at home. But what if they don’t qualify for VA? Or what if VA wouldn’t be enough based on their care needs?
If you find yourself or a loved one in this situation, you need to look into PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly). PACE can provide medical care, personal care, meals, transportation, and other services to individuals who qualify. And how does one qualify? In a very similar fashion to how one would qualify for Long-term-care Medicaid. And that’s where we come in! (sorry for the shameless plug but you are reading an attorney’s blog after all!) The one drawback for PACE eligibility (which doesn’t apply to Long-term-care Medicaid) is it does have an income limit for applicants ($2,742 in 2023). There are rumors the State is going to lift the income limits for PACE and MI Choice Waiver (and they should!), but it hasn’t happened yet. Here’s to hoping that’ll change in 2023 though.
PACE is a great option for families who don’t want to see their loved one’s financial situation dictate their living situation. Nobody wants their loved one to have to reside in a nursing home, even the best ones, unless medically necessary. And for that married couple, I mentioned earlier or for the son or daughter who wants Mom or Dad to live with them but have their own career and family to also take care of, PACE Southeast Michigan has a day center for services and recreational activities.
PACE is also a great option for an individual or married couple who do have financial resources, but want to preserve what they can or at least want to make those funds work for them as long as possible. Anyone familiar with long-term-care Medicaid knows it doesn’t have to be the ‘pay us until your money runs out’ scenario that the nursing home often tells you.
So, look into PACE and see if it fits you or your loved one. And if you’re worried they don’t qualify because they have “too many assets” (a/k/a anything over $2,000) give us a call, we can help get ‘em qualified sooner.