It isn’t easy to accept the physical and/or mental deterioration that accompanies the natural aging process. If you have an adult child, however, who is willing to care for you it can make it somewhat easier. Of course, even if your adult child wants to provide your care, doing so can put a strain on his/her family finances. As the Medicaid lawyers at Augulis Law Firm explain, there may be a program in New Jersey that will pay your adult child to care for you.
What Is a Medicaid Waiver?
“Medicaid Waivers,” which are also called Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waivers or Waiver Funded Services are programs that provide additional services to specific groups of individuals, limit services to specific geographic areas of the state, and provide medical coverage to individuals who may not otherwise be eligible under traditional Medicaid rules. Unlike the traditional Medicaid program, services or benefits provided through a waiver are only good for a designated period of time. They are often renewed, but there is no guarantee that a waiver will be renewed. These waiver programs allow people who would otherwise receive care in a long-term care (LTC) facility to receive that care in the community through an assisted living facility, a community-based care program, or even by family caregivers.
Medicaid Managed Long Term Services and Supports
Medicaid Managed Long Term Services and Supports or MLTSS has a program referred to as Home-Based Supportive Care (HBSC) which assistance with shopping, housekeeping, chore services, and non-medical transportation. Participants may choose their own providers for these services as these supports do not require any special training. This option is formally referred to as Personal Employer Provider (PEP). Certain family members are permitted to be hired to serve in these roles and will be compensated by the state at a program-determined hourly rate (estimated at $15/ hour).
Am I Eligible for MLTSS?
To qualify for MLTSS you must be at least 65 years old and need nursing home level care or you must need assistance from another person in order to do any three or more of the activities of daily living. In 2019, an unmarried or widowed applicant can have a monthly income up to $2,313. A married couple with both spouses applying can have up to $4,626 per month in combined wages. As an individual applicant you cannot have countable resources of over $2,000.
New Jersey Assistance for Community Caregiving
The New Jersey Assistance for Community Caregiving, or JACC, is a non-Medicaid program that may do just that. It provides a variety of care services and supports for elderly residents that require assistance with their activities of daily living, such as eating, bathing, and dressing, and are, therefore, at risk of nursing home placement. Services are provided for program participants in their homes, in the homes of caregivers, or in adult daycare centers. Services are also provided for the primary caregivers of qualified participants in the form of respite care.
JACC offers program participants the option to choose their own service providers for several approved services. For services such as attendant care, chores and transportation assistance, nearly anyone can be hired to provide assistance including family members and friends so long as they meet the program’s requirements. Unlike in many states, in New Jersey, spouses and the adult children of aging parents are included in the list of relatives that can be paid.
Are You Eligible for JACC?
To be eligible for the JACC program, you must be at least 60 years of age. In addition, you must meet the following requirements:
- Functional – you must need nursing home level care; however, you must live at home, in a rental property, or with a family member or friend.
- Income – for a single, unmarried applicant in 2019, the income limit is $3,799 / month. For a couple, the income limit is $5,143 / month or $61,716 / year.
- Assets – your “countable resources” (which do not include the value of a home or personal effects) must be less than $40,000 for a single person or $60,000 for a couple.
Income and assets cannot be so low that the applicant is also eligible for Medicaid or a Medicaid HCBS Waiver. In addition, you cannot simultaneously be receiving services from the New Jersey Alzheimer’s Adult Day Services Program or the New Jersey Statewide Respite Care Program.
Contact Warren Medicaid Lawyers
For more information, please download our FREE estate planning worksheet. If you have additional questions or concerns about the JACC program or about Medicaid planning, contact the experienced Medicaid lawyers at Augulis Law Firm by calling 908-222-8803 to schedule your appointment today.