Hi, how is it going?

It's June - traditionally a time for graduations, the start of summer, Pride Month, and of course, weddings. Last year, we had to skip many of these traditions due to COVID-19, but not this year, thankfully. We want to congratulate all the graduates out there (and their parents and grandparents for raising them!) and say congratulations and "Mazel tov" to all those who will tie the knot this month. Whatever you have planned, we hope you have fun and get to enjoy the warmer weather and relaxed restrictions with good friends and family members.

In this month's newsletter, in keeping with an old wedding tradition, we have something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. We updated an older story about the new effective date for the implementation of the 30-month lookback period for Community-Based Medicaid in New York. In our latest blog post, we discuss some new retroactive disability benefits for Vietnam veterans who may have been exposed to Agent Orange. See our borrowed item, the Cartoon of the Month, from CartoonStock. We also discuss how we work with financial advisors and other professionals in our latest video (we're wearing blue!). Finally, we have a bonus article for you on how pets may be good for your health (but deep down, we already knew that!). For more information about anything in this issue, or to set up a consultation with one of our attorneys, please contact us or call us at (561) 750-3850 or 1-800-ELDERLAW

We wish you a safe and happy summer!

Ellen S. Morris, Esq. and Howard S. Krooks, Esq., CELA, CAP
By Howard S. Krooks, Esq., CELA, CAP, Partner, Elder Law Associates PA

As we discussed in a previous article, New York will begin to implement a new 30-month lookback period for community-based Medicaid home care services but the effective date has changed. It was expected to be changed to July 1, 2021, however, the 30-month lookback period is now not likely to be implemented until 2022, according to the New York State Department of Health. The Families First Cares Act prohibits states from restricting eligibility until the quarter following the end of the Public Health Emergency (COVID-19), which was extended on April 15 to July 31, 2021. The Biden administration also recently told governors that the Public Health Emergency is likely to continue through the rest of the year. This means that New York State can’t require the lookback and impose transfer penalties until the following quarter after it ends, which will most likely not be until at least January 1, 2022. Read More
By Jami Scott, Paralegal/VA Benefits Specialist, Elder Law Associates PA

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced that veterans who served in the offshore waters of The Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam War (the period between Jan. 9, 1962, to May 7, 1975), may be eligible for VA disability benefits to be paid retroactively based on the veteran’s presumption of exposure to Agent Orange or other herbicides. In addition, certain veterans who served in Korea and Thailand during the Vietnam War also may have been exposed to Agent Orange and also may be eligible for retroactive benefits. 

The VA announced that it will readjudicate claims that were previously denied as part of the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019, which was signed into law on June 25, 2019. The new guidance comes as a result of the implementation of the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California’s decision in the class-action law suit, Nehmer vs. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, to readjudicate previously denied claims. Read More

According to the American Heart Association, owning a pet, such as a dog, cat or bird, is generally good for your heart. It can help lower your blood pressure, reduce stress, ease anxiety and depression, and improve activity levels. Having a pet also can provide companionship and reduce feelings of loneliness, especially for seniors who live on their own. A pet can help you feel less isolated, more loved and involved. Read More
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The information contained in this newsletter has been prepared by Elder Law Associates PA, presents general information, is for informational purposes only, and is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Before acting on any of the information presented, you should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.