A person must be a US citizen to become eligible for Arizona Long Term Care Services (ALTCS). Evidence of citizenship can be in the form of a birth certificate or passport.
Residency in Arizona
ALTCS also requires that a person be an Arizona resident. This is usually established by showing that one's domicile is in the Arizona and that the applicant has the intent to remain in the state.
The third requirement for eligibility is that the ALTCS applicant demonstrate that he or she is medically eligible. One can expect that when applying for benefits, a Pre-Admission Screening test will be conducted where points are awarded based on an individual's medical conditions. More points are given for different conditions such as Dementia or Parkinson's disease. Since 60 points or more is the number needed for medical eligibility, it is important to understand that not all medical problems will make an applicant medically eligible. To be sure, a general rule of thumb is that if a person can perform 3 or more "activities of daily living" (ADL's) such as bathing, dressing, feeding oneself, continence, and being ambulatory, then the applicant will not likely score high on the PAS test.
One aspect of being financially eligible for ALTCS, is that an applicant's income must be under the cap of $2,022 per month (single) or $4,044 per month (married). The income cap will change from year to year based on a cost of living adjustment. But, in instances where a person has excess income, proper planning can involve the use of Special Needs Trusts such as Miller Trusts to obtain eligibility.
Finally, a single person can be asset eligible by having no more than $2,000 in cash/liquid holdings in addition to exempt assets (exempt assets include but are not limited to one residence up to $500,000 in equity, one car, personal items, term life insurance, irrevocable funeral trusts, and other specific items). A married couple by contrast is permitted to have a maximum of $109,640 (subject to change) for the well spouse (community spouse) and $2,000 for the institutionalized spouse along with all exempt assets. The maximum does not however apply to every applicant and is determined on a case by case basis.
Additional resources provided by the author
Given the complexities of Medicaid law, and how it can involve other entitlement programs such as Supplemental Security Income or Veteran's Aid and Attendance Benefits, one should always seek out the counsel of an elder law attorney who can help navigate the maze of laws and programs for the client.
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