Elder Law

What Is ALTCS Planning?

The Arizona Long Term Care System (ALTCS) is a program administered under the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) that provides benefits for qualifying individuals requiring long-term care, including nursing home care.

ALTCS Has Complex Guidelines

Like most public benefit programs, ALTCS has strict qualifying requirements, including an income and resource cap. Currently, the resource cap is $2,000. Just giving your assets to a family member will not work, as ALTCS will look back five years and count the gifts made in determining whether an individual qualifies for ALTCS. Thus, if an individual has resources in excess of this very modest amount and anticipates the need for long-term care in the future, speaking with an experienced elder law attorney can be critical. I can assist you with designing a plan to qualify an individual for ALTCS.

In addition to the resource cap, ALTCS has an income cap of $2,349 in 2020 ($4,698 for married couples). An individual receiving monthly income in excess of the income cap but below the amount of a Medicaid Bed ($7,429.58 in Maricopa County) may establish an Income Only Trust, often referred to as a Miller Trust, to qualify for ALTCS.

The rules governing qualification for ALTCS are complex, and professional assistance in qualifying for the program can save a lot of time and aggravation. The rules are particularly complex when an individual seeking qualification for ALTCS is married. However, ALTCS planning can significantly increase the amount the community spouse is able to retain. Call me at 480-219-5000 for help designing a plan to ease the burden in qualifying for this extremely valuable program.

You Can Also Contact Me For Assistance With Guardianship Or Conservatorship

Is your loved one unable to make sound decisions? The court can appoint an individual or entity as legal guardian when a minor or incapacitated adult cannot take proper care or make sound personal decisions on their own. A conservatorship is also a court-appointed process but focuses on providing an individual or entity the legal authority to handle financial matters and take fiduciary action on behalf of the minor or incapacitated person. Conservatorships are often paired with a legal guardianship, but not always.

I am Christopher Graham, and I can be reached by phone at 480-219-5000 to discuss your legal needs. You may also reach my office in Chandler online.