Maine Center for Elder Law Blog

Friday, April 6, 2012

Bill would protect Survivor Benefit Plan for special-needs kids

The “Disabled Military Child Protection Act,” introduced by Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., on March 29, would allow military retirees who participate in the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) to transfer their benefits to a special-needs trust for their disabled children that would be accessible after the retiree dies. Civilian federal retirees are able to establish similar trusts for their disabled children, but there is no equivalent within the military’s retirement system.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Special Tax Deductions for Special Education

Here's a good article from Wall Street Journal:

More than six million children in the U.S. fall into the "special needs" category, and their ranks are expanding. The number of those affected by one developmental disability alone—autism—grew more than 70% between 2005 and 2010.

The tax code can help—if you know where to look.

There are numerous tax breaks for education, but the most important one for many special-needs students isn't an education break per se. Instead, it falls under the medical-expense category.

Although students with disabilities have a right to a "free and appropriate" public education by law, some families opt out and others pay for a range of supplemental therapies.

Read the full article:

Monday, October 3, 2011

Protecting Your Parents' Money from Fraud

One out of every five older Americans has been sold an inappropriate investment, paid excessive fees for a financial product or service, or been a victim of fraud, according to a 2010 study by the Investor Protection Trust; new research from MetLife puts their collective losses at $2.9 billion last year.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Compare cost of care across the U.S.

Genworth Financial offers a cost of care map for the United States:

Friday, June 24, 2011

Heiress's nurse inherits $30 million — but should she? (

The wealthy recluse's bequest to her nurse and doctor raises serious ethical questions.

See article by Arthur Caplan, Ph.D., is director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania at:

Friday, June 24, 2011

Caregivers can get help for parents who need it (Portland Press Herald, 6-12-2011)

With proper support, adult children stay healthier and elderly parents can remain longer in their situation, experts say.

See article by John Richardson:

Thursday, June 9, 2011

IRS household employee tax guide (IRS Publication 926 for 2011)

When working with caregiver agreements, it is important to remember the tax implications.  This link takes you to the IRS guide for wages paid in 2011.

If you pay a household worker $1,700 or more in cash wages during 2011, you must deduct Social Security and Medicare taxes and report the wages once a year. This includes reporting any cash you pay to cover the cost of the employee’s transportation, meals or housing. If you do not report the wages on time, you may have to pay a penalty in addition to the overdue taxes.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Larry King talks about his special on Alzheimer's epidemic

Larry King talks to HLN's Dr. Drew Pinsky about his special "Unthinkable: the Alzheimer's Epidemic."

Friday, April 8, 2011

HIPAA Violation Results in $4.3 Million Fine to Covered Entity

From the Frederick County Times:

Cignet of Prince George’s County Fined $4.3 Million For Violating HIPAA

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has issued a Notice of Final Determination finding that Cignet Health of Prince George’s County, Md., (Cignet) violated the Privacy Rule of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). HHS has imposed a civil money penalty (CMP) of $4.3 million for the violations, representing the first CMP issued by the Department for a covered entity’s violations of the HIPAA Privacy Rule.

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The Maine Center for Elder Law, LLC, assists clients with Medicaid (MaineCare) Planning, Planning for VA Aid and Attendance Eligibility, Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning, and Probate, Estate & Trust Administration matters in York County, Cumberland County and nearby Maine counties.

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