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

Medicaid Planning & Elder Law Attorney in Long Beach, CA

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

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 Long Beach?

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 Long Beach

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.

Top Elder Law and Medicaid Planning Attorney in Long Beach, CA. James Dolenga provides Medicaid Planning, Elder Law, Estate Planning, SSDI & SSI services. Call today.

Senior Services in Long Beach

THE HEALTHY AGING CENTER

The Healthy Aging Center launched in May 2018, is co-located at the 4th Street Senior Center in Room 111 at 1150 E 4th Street, Long Beach, CA 90802 and coordinates closely with the Parks, Recreation & Marine Information and Referral services. 

The goal of the Healthy Aging Center is to build a coordinated system of services so that older adults can live healthy and fulfilling lives, and they are recognized for their integral role in our community. 

FOCUS AND WORK OF THE HEALTHY AGING CENTER

  • Collaborate across the City departments and with community organizations to support the development and implementation of an Age-friendly Strategic Plan that optimizes opportunities for health, social engagement, and security to enhance quality of life as people age.
  • Convene and find solutions for coordinating older adult services offered by the City and other agencies to identify gaps in services and leverage opportunities for increasing access to supports.
  • Provide intensive case management for adults age 55+ requiring special assistance through the Senior Links public health nurse and social worker program to maximize health and wellbeing.

Contact us by email at HealthyAgingCenter@longbeach.gov or by calling 562-570-3529.

 Senior Activity Center

The 28,000 square-foot facility contains a Senior Activity Center as well as a Human Services Component. Lastly, the community center also houses an art gallery, various meeting rooms, and a 4,000 square foot assembly hall with an adjoining courtyard.

Senior Wheels Transportation Program

Senior Wheels Transportation program is for Anaheim resident 60 years of age and older. Service is available to visit friends, local merchants, Anaheim Community Centers and Libraries and medical facilities within a 10 miles radius of the residents home in Anaheim. Call 714-765-4511 for more information.

Top Elder Law and Medicaid Planning Attorney in Long Beach, CA. James Dolenga provides Medicaid Planning, Elder Law, Estate Planning, SSDI & SSI services. Call today.

About Long Beach, CA

Long Beach is a city in Los Angeles County, California. It is the 42nd-most populous city in the United States, with a population of 466,742 as of 2020.[11] A charter city,[3] Long Beach is the seventh-most populous city in California.

 

General Information About Long Beach

Incorporated in 1897, Long Beach lies in Southern California in the southern part of Los Angeles County.[13] Long Beach is approximately 20 miles (32 km) south of downtown Los Angeles, and is part of the Gateway Cities region. The Port of Long Beach is the second busiest container port in the United States and is among the world’s largest shipping ports.[14] The city is over an oilfield with minor wells both directly beneath the city as well as offshore.

The city is known for its waterfront attractions, including the permanently docked RMS Queen Mary and the Aquarium of the Pacific. Long Beach also hosts the Grand Prix of Long Beach, an IndyCar race and the Long Beach Pride Festival and ParadeCalifornia State University, Long Beach, one of the largest universities in California by enrollment, is within the city.

The Long Beach Museum of Art, sited in the historic Elizabeth Milbank Anderson residence, is owned by the City of Long Beach, and operated by the Long Beach Museum of Art Foundation. Long Beach also features the Museum of Latin American Art, founded in 1996 by Dr. Robert Gumbiner. It is the only museum in the western United States that exclusively features modern and contemporary Latin American art.

Long Beach’s newest museum is The Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum (PieAM). This museum was a project of Robert Gumbiner at the time of his death.[67] The museum opened October 15, 2010.

In 1965, Long Beach State hosted the first International Sculpture Symposium to be held in the United States and the first at a college or university. Six sculptors from around the world and two from the United States created many of the monumental sculptures seen on the campus. There are now over 20 sculptures on the campus.

Long Beach is known for its street art. Some of the murals were created in conjunction with the city’s Mural and Cultural Arts Program, but many others were not.[68][69]

On the exterior of the Long Beach Sports Arena is one of the artist Wyland’s Whaling Walls. At 116,000 square feet (11,000 m2), it is the world’s largest mural (according to the Guinness Book of Records).

Shops and galleries in the East Village Arts District, in downtown Long Beach hold their monthly art openings and artists exhibit in street galleries on the second Saturday of the month during the Artwalk.

Long Beach has a percent for art program administered through the Arts Council of Long Beach and the Redevelopment Agency which ensures new private developments contribute to the arts fund or commission artworks for their new projects.[70]

 

Long Beach is about 20 miles (32 km) south of downtown Los Angeles. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 51.437 square miles (133.2 km2), of which 50.293 square miles (130.3 km2) is land and 1.144 square miles (2.96 km2) (2.22%) is water. Long Beach completely surrounds the city of Signal Hill.

The economic base has changed over the years. Oil extraction created a boom and continues to fund portions of the city budget.[57] Long Beach was a Navy town for many years before the base closed.[58] The aerospace industry played an important role. Douglas Aircraft Company (later McDonnell Douglas and now part of Boeing) had plants at the Long Beach Airport where they built aircraft for World War II, and later built DC-8sDC-9sDC-10s, and MD-11s. Boeing built the Boeing 717 until 2006 and the C-17 Globemaster III strategic airlifter until 2015, the plants were leased by Mercedes-Benz and Relativity Space.[59][60][61] Even after greatly reducing the number of local employees in recent years, Boeing is still the largest private employer in the city. Polar Air Cargo, an international cargo airline, was formerly based in Long Beach. TABC, Inc., a part of Toyota, makes a variety of car parts, including steering columns and catalytic converters, in Long Beach.

Epson America, Inc. the U.S. affiliate of Japan-based Seiko Epson Corporation, is headquartered in Long Beach.[62] Pioneer Electronics, the U.S. affiliate of Japan-based Pioneer Corporation, is also headquartered in Long Beach along with SCAN Health Plan, a non-profit “Medicare Advantage” HMO for seniors. Molina Healthcare, Inc., a Medicaid management healthcare program, is headquartered in Long Beach. The real estate company HCP is based in Long Beach. Jesse James‘ West Coast Choppers custom motorcycle shop was in Long Beach, and much of the Monster Garage cable TV show was shot in Long Beach. Long Beach Green Business Association is an organization working to create economic growth through the promotion of green business and promoting a buy local program for Long Beach.[63]

Driving Directions from Long Beach to Law Offices of James Dolenga

Long Beach, California

Continue to I-710
4 min (1.3 mi)

Take Seaside Fwy and I-110 N/Harbor Fwy to W Sepulveda Blvd in Carson. Take exit 5 from I-110 N/Harbor Fwy
10 min (9.2 mi)

Turn left onto W Sepulveda Blvd
Pass by Burger King (on the right in 0.3 mi)
11 min (4.0 mi)

Turn right onto Hawthorne Blvd
Pass by Chipotle Mexican Grill (on the right in 0.7 mi)
3 min (0.7 mi)

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

Frequently Asked Questions About Medicaid, Medical, and Elder Law in Long Beach

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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