December Updates

WISCONSIN’S NEW VOTER ID LAW

If you have a senior family member who is residing in a nursing home, CBRF, or in their own home (and essentially confined), please take note of options under Wisconsin law that avoid the requirement of a photo ID.  A very informative online brochure is availabe from Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board that outlines options for confined voters.  The brochure is available at http://gab.wi.gov/node/2119.

COST OF LIVING INCREASE FOR VETERANS

The Veterans Administration has provided for a 3.6% cost-of-living increase for veterans and surviving spouses of veterans receiving the pension benefit.  Note that the pension benefit refers to the Aid and Attendance benefit, also called the Low Income Pension Benefit or Housebound Benefit.  Veterans, veterans with healthy spouses, and widows and widowers of veterans may qualify for the pension benefit if they are over age 65 and if the total unreimbursed health care expenses (such as necessary home health care, assisted living, and skilled nursing costs) exceed the applicant’s income.

AVERAGE COST OF NURSING HOMES

According to the State of Wisconsin, the most recently published average cost of nursing home care throughout the state is $6,554.00.  This number is used as the divisor to determine the penalty period for divestment within the current five year look back period.  Many clients remember the look back period as three years.  However, for gifting or divestments made after January 1, 2009, the look back period is 60 months, or five years.

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