SSDI, SSI, Estate Planning, Elder Law & Medi-Cal Planning in California

Medicaid Planning & Elder Law Attorney in Riverside, CA

Looking for a Riverside Medi-Cal & Elder Law Attorney Near You?

When you fill out this form, a friendly member of our team will contact you by phone and email to answer your questions.

Should You Hire an Elder Law Attorney to Assist with a Medi-Cal Application in Riverside?

Elder law attorneys like James Dolenga specialize in helping seniors with long-term care planning, estate planning, and government benefits. He has experience in Medicaid planning, understands each California’s rules and regulations, and helps families by identifying strategies to legally obtain and maintain eligibility for public benefits.

Medi-Cal is a complicated benefit for residents of California. It’s important to seek the advice of a seasoned professional who understands the rules, processes, and provisions under these laws.

Without professional guidance, families risk losing the assets and inheritance they worked so hard to create.

Who is Eligible for Medi-Cal in Riverside?

Many people are wrongfully told (or assume) that they must be financially destitute to qualify for Medi-Cal / Medicaid for long-term care. 

Clearly, individuals can’t just give away, transfer, or quitclaim away property as this will trigger severe penalties. 

The Medi-Cal / Medicaid law has many exceptions and loopholes which can allow families to preserve most of their accumulated assets and wealth.

For institutional / nursing home / skilled nursing care, there is no income limit.

Medi-Cal will however require that excess income be applied to care as a Share of Cost. 

Depending on the level of care needed, the applicant may still end up using their entire monthly income and still need to spend down from other assets.

Asset limits (real estate other than a primary residence, bank accounts, investment accounts, certain retirement accounts, etc.) are listed as $2,000 for a single applicant and $3,000 for married applicants when both are applying.

For married applicants when only one spouse is applying, the non-applicant spouse is allowed to retain up to $137,400 (called the Community Spouse Resource Allowance) plus the $2,000 allowance for the institutional/applicant spouse.

For assistance under the “waivers” programs, which covers caregivers, in-home supportive services, and assisted living, the income limits are $1,564/mos for the applicant and $2,106 for a couple when both are applying.  The asset limits remain the same.

Applicants are told that they must “spend down” their assets until they get below these asset limits. 

Again, the Medi-Cal / Medicaid rules have very explicit carve-outs and exceptions that can allow an applicant or their family to protect hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars with proper planning.

That’s where we come in. 

We will work with you to legally protect those assets and to shepherd the Medi-Cal / Medicaid application through the government bureaucracy from application to approval.

Once qualified, we can work with you to further protect those assets from Medi-Cal / Medicaid recovery after death.

James Dolenga will create a well-written, customized estate plan, so you can ensure that your wishes are carried out and your goals are achieved while protecting your family and legacy. Get help today.

Research shows that having a professional representative can boost your chances of getting Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Make sure you’re represented.

Medicaid Planning & Elder Law Services Near Riverside

Our law firm provides comprehensive, personalized, and tailored legal services to meet all of our client’s estate planning needs. Our firm utilizes a variety of tools to help families preserve their assets for generations to come. Specifically, We work with our clients to minimize estate taxes and ultimately avoid the lengthy and expensive probate process by utilizing Wills (simple & complex), Powers of Attorney, Living Trusts, Living Wills, Family Limited Partnerships, Irrevocable Trusts, and Charitable Gifting Strategies.

When it comes to Medicaid & Medi-Cal Services & Elder Law, our goal is to protect our clients’ nest eggs. We ensure that our clients qualify for Medicaid services and other government medical benefits so that their estates are protected from expensive nursing home and hospital bills. If you become disabled and unable to work, we will help you determine if you qualify for SSD coverage. As a Social Security disability lawyer, James Dolenga will also inform you about the monthly disability benefits and health coverage for a deceased, disabled or retired worker’s disabled dependents.

About California

California, a western U.S. state, stretches from the Mexican border along the Pacific for nearly 900 miles. Its terrain includes cliff-lined beaches, redwood forest, the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Central Valley farmland and the Mojave Desert. The city of Los Angeles is the seat of the Hollywood entertainment industry. Hilly San Francisco is known for the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island and cable cars.

Elder Law Attorney in Riverside California

Senior Services in Riverside

Commission on Aging

The Commission on Aging meets at 4 p.m. the Third Monday of each month in the Art Pick Council Chamber at City Hall located at 3900 Main Street, Riverside, 92522. Time commitment may include 6-10 hours per month.

  • By-Laws
  • Meeting Agendas
  • Archived Agendas and Minutes
  • California Master Plan for Aging
  • Riverside County Office on Aging  
  • AARP Livable Communities Network 

Contact:

Marnie Smith, Recreation Services Coordinator
Phone: (951) 826-2047
Email: mlsmith@riversideca.gov

Senior Activities and Programs

ARLANZA COMMUNITY CENTER

7950 Philbin Ave. • (951) 351-6135*  • arlanzacc@riversideca.gov
Monday – Friday • 8 – 10 a.m.  Senior Fitness
Monday – Thursday • 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.  Adult Fitness
Monday – Thursday • 3 – 9 p.m.
Closed Saturday & Sunday

DALES SENIOR CENTER

3936 Chestnut St. • (951) 826-5303 • dalessc@riversideca.gov
Monday – Friday • 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Closed Saturday & Sunday

JANET GOESKE CENTER

5257 Sierra St. • (951) 351-8800 • For a listing of Janet Goeske Center’s programs click here.
Monday – Friday • 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Saturday • 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday • 1 – 5 p.m.

LA SIERRA SENIOR CENTER

5215 – B La Sierra Ave. • (951) 351-6435 • lsseniorcenter@riversideca.gov
Monday – Thursday • 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Friday • 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Closed Saturday & Sunday

STRATTON COMMUNITY CENTER

2008 Martin Luther King Blvd. • (951) 826-5355 • strattoncc@riversideca.gov
Monday – Friday • 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Senior Programming
Monday – Thursday • 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Friday • 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Closed Saturday & Sunday

YSMAEL VILLEGAS COMMUNITY CENTER

3091 Esperanza St. • (951) 351-6142* • villegascc@riversideca.gov
Monday – Friday • 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Senior Programming
Monday – Thursday 3 – 8 p.m.
Friday 3 – 6 p.m.
Closed Saturday & Sunday

Elder Law Attorney in Riverside California

About Riverside, CA

Riverside is a city in, and the county seat of, Riverside CountyCaliforniaUnited States, located in the Inland Empire metropolitan area. It is named for its location beside the Santa Ana River.[10] It is the most populous city in the Inland Empire and in Riverside County, and is located about 50 miles (80 km) southeast of downtown Los Angeles. It is also part of the Greater Los Angeles area. Riverside is the 61st-most populous city in the United States and 12th-most populous city in California. As of the 2020 census, Riverside had a population of 314,998.[8] Along with San Bernardino, Riverside is a principal city in the 13th largest Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) in the United States; the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario MSA (pop. 4,599,839) ranks in size just below San Francisco (pop. 4,749,0080 and above Detroit (pop. 4,392,041) in population.

General Information About Riverside

Riverside was founded in the early 1870s. It is the birthplace of the California citrus industry and home of the Mission Inn, the largest Mission Revival Style building in the United States.[11] It is also home to the Riverside National Cemetery and the Eastern Division of the Federal District Court for the Central District of California.

The University of California, Riverside, is located in the northeastern part of the city. The university also hosts the Riverside Sports Complex. Other attractions in Riverside include the Fox Performing Arts CenterMuseum of Riverside, which houses exhibits and artifacts of local history, the California Museum of Photography, the California Citrus State Historic ParkCastle Park, and the Parent Washington Navel Orange Tree, the last of the two original navel orange trees in California.[12]

Riverside is home to the historic Mission Inn, the Beaux-Arts style Riverside County Historic Courthouse (based on the Petit Palais in Paris, France), and the Riverside Fox Theater, where the first showing of the 1939 film Gone with the Wind took place. The theater was purchased by the city and refurbished as part of the Riverside Renaissance Initiative.[19] The Fox Theater underwent extensive renovation and restoration, which was completed in 2009, to turn the old cinema into a performing arts theater.[20] The building was expanded to hold 1,600 seats and the stage was enlarged to accommodate Broadway-style performances. In January 2010, singer Sheryl Crow opened the newly remodeled Fox Theater in a nearly sold-out show.[21]

Riverside’s economy consists largely of light-industry and generates a range of products including aircraft components, automotive parts, gas cylinders, electronic equipment, food products, and medical devices. Supporting the manufacturing sector are several industrial parks, including those in the Hunter Industrial Park, Sycamore Canyon Industrial Park and Airport Industrial Areas. As the county seat of Riverside County and the most populous city in the Inland Empire, Riverside also houses several legal, accounting, engineering, and banking firms. Citrus production and packing houses still exist within the city, but the industry is in decline.

American electronics company Bourns, Inc. is among the companies based in Riverside.

According to the City’s 2018 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[53] the top employers in the city are:

#Employer# of employees
1County of Riverside11,865
2University of California, Riverside8,686
3Riverside Unified School District4,000
4Kaiser Permanente3,484
5City of Riverside2,504
6California Baptist University2,285
7Riverside Community Hospital2,200
8Alvord Unified School District1,800
9UTC Aerospace Systems1,200
10Parkview Community Hospital897

Driving Directions from Riverside to Law Offices of James Dolenga

Riverside, California

Get on CA-91 W from Tenth St
3 min (0.5 mi)

Follow CA-91 W to S Western Ave in Los Angeles County. Take exit 38B from I-405 N
58 min (59.5 mi)

Continue on S Western Ave. Take Torrance Blvd to Hawthorne Blvd
12 min (4.3 mi)

Law Office of James Dolenga
21250 Hawthorne Blvd STE 500, Torrance, CA 90503

Frequently Asked Questions About Medicaid, Medical, and Elder Law in Riverside

What is Elder Law?

Elder Law involves planning for the complex health care, long-term care, and other issues facing elderly and disabled individuals and their families. Studies show that we stand a 40 percent chance of needing long-term care at least once before we die. Therefore, everyone should take into account that at some point residency in a nursing home or an assisted living facility may be needed.

However, the substantial cost of nursing home care for an incapacitated person can wipe away a family’s nest egg and the inheritance planned for surviving family members. The primary alternative to privately paying the nursing home is Medicaid.

Medicaid Asset Protection Strategies

Although with the recent passage of the Deficit Reduction Act, increased restrictions affect the use of some techniques, other asset protection strategies remain viable, especially for married couples where one spouse requires long-term care. Some of these techniques may include setting up an Irrevocable Living Trust, making gifts to family members, and paying for certain Medicaid expenses.

Whether you are facing long-term care issues yourself or you have a family member who is, we encourage you to call with your questions or ask us for a free report. Be sure to call sooner rather than later because the timing of the decisions families need to make has a dramatic impact on whether or not someone can actually qualify for this type of support.

Elder Law involves planning for the complex health care, long-term care, and other issues facing elderly and disabled individuals and their families. Studies show that we stand a 40 percent chance of needing long-term care at least once before we die. Therefore, everyone should take into account that at some point residency in a nursing home or an assisted living facility may be needed.

However, the substantial cost of nursing home care for an incapacitated person can wipe away a family’s nest egg and the inheritance planned for surviving family members. The primary alternative to privately paying the nursing home is Medicaid.

Medi-Cal:

Medi-Cal is a joint federal and state program that provides medical assistance to low-income persons who are elderly, blind or disabled. However, unless you are among the minority who has long-term care insurance, most individuals contemplating paying thousands of dollars out-of-pocket every month for long-term nursing home care face the possibility of exhausting all available assets and using up their lifetime savings before being able to qualify for Medi-Cal. A qualified Elder Law Attorney can help your family by using a variety of strategies to help you qualify for Medi-Cal while preserving assets and savings for heirs.

Here’s How We Can Help

Paying for & Getting Nursing Home Care

  • Find the right nursing home
  • Create a plan to qualify for Medi-Cal benefits
  • Preserve as many of your loved one’s assets as possible
  • Apply for Veteran’s Benefits

Estate Administration

  • Probate of your loved one’s estate with a Will
  • Trust Administration of your loved one’s Living Trust

Incapacity Planning

  • Establish Guardianship

Click here to schedule your personal consultation or call us at (909) 726-9580.

Estate planning is essentially writing down your assets, who will be responsible for distributing or administering your assets in the event that you are unable to, due to incapacity or death, how you want or assets distributed or administered, and to whom you wish to leave your assets.

The assets involved in your estate can include more than just money. It can also include houses, cars, stocks, artwork, real estate investments, retirement plans, and gifts, just to name a few.

Your estate plan can direct these items be distributed outright, held in trust for a period of time, used for a specific purpose such as a grandchild’s education, or given to charity.

By having a well-written, customized estate plan, you can ensure that your wishes are carried out and your goals are achieved while protecting everything you worked for from family fights, creditors, and unscrupulous predators who may wish to take advantage of your family.

If you feel that you are no longer able to work because of physical and/or mental reasons, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability payments. To be considered disabled, you must be unable to perform any substantial work due to a physical and/or mental condition, which has lasted or can be expected to last for at least 12 months or can be expected to result in death.

SSDI eligibility is based on previous contributions to Social Security, and SSI eligibility is based on your income level.If you are found eligible for SSI payments, you may also qualify for State Supplemental Payments (SSP).

You may apply for SSDI or SSI at any Social Security office.If you have a child or children with a disability, you may also apply for SSI on their behalf.

What is Social Security Income (SSI)?

People who are disabled, blind, or elderly may not be able to work or afford to live on their own. If you can’t work, have no other sources of income, and have limited resources, you may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).


The federal government created the SSI program to help people in this situation. Those who qualify for SSI benefits get monthly cash payments to pay for those basic needs. The SSI program is run by the Social Security Administration. In California, people who get SSI also get a smaller benefit from the State Supplemental Program (SSP) included with their monthly SSI benefit.

 
In California, people who qualify for SSI also get Medi-Cal benefits automatically.

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