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January 2015 Issue
National Institute of Health Website Designed for the Over 60's Crowd
Elder Education


The National Institutes of Health hosts a comprehensive website devoted to a wide range of issues impacting the health of older Americans.  This website makes aging-related health information easily accessible for the over 60's crowd, as well as for family members and friends seeking reliable, easy to understand online health information. This site was developed by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Library of Medicine (NLM), both part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The site features authoritative and up-to-date health information from Institutes and Centers at NIH. In addition, the American Geriatrics Society provides expert and independent review of some of the material found on this Web site. Health topics include general background information, open-captioned videos, quizzes, and frequently asked questions (FAQs). New topics are added to the site on a regular basis.


The design of the site grew out of NIA's research on the types of cognitive changes that are a part of the normal aging process. Changes in memory, text comprehension, information processing speed, and vision can interfere with older adults' use of computers. Research indicates older adults can effectively use computers if information is provided in a senior-friendly manner. NIH extensively tested NIHSeniorHealth with adults age 60 to 88 to ensure that it is easy for them to see, understand, and navigate. To check out the website go to

Affordable Health Care Act Open Enrollment


Although we discussed the new ABLE Act in Sheri's Social Security newsletter that many of you receive, we thought it important enough to include the article in this newsletter as well.


On December 19, 2014, President Obama signed the Achieving Better Life Experiences (ABLE) Act into law.


The ABLE Act allows special savings accounts for people who have a disabling condition that began before age 26. 


Similar to "529" college savings plans, income earned by ABLE accounts will not be taxed if the funds are used for authorized purposes. For ABLE accounts, these authorized purposes will have to be "disability-related" and while regulations have not yet been issued by the U.S. Treasury Department, they will likely include housing, transportation, education, job training, employment and personal care services, and medical expenses.


Perhaps more important to people with disabilities, the first $100,000 in an ABLE account will not count towards the resource cap for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid.


ABLE accounts therefore provide an opportunity for some individuals to accumulate funds and still maintain eligibility for important benefits. However, ABLE accounts (like Self-Funded Special Needs Trusts) do not guarantee that people with disabilities will be able to bequeath assets.  The law allows state Medicaid programs to recoup expenses from unspent funds in ABLE accounts when the disabled person dies.


Although the ABLE Act is now law, individuals and families who want to set up ABLE accounts will have to wait.  States must set up their own ABLE account programs, and many will wait for guidance from the Treasury Department and the IRS before doing so.


It may take until late 2015 or 2016 for the first ABLE accounts to be opened.
Budget for Fiscal Year 2015 Allows Social Security to Restore Some Service Hours at Local Offices
Social Security Logo


The Social Security Administration (SSA) today announced that as a result of Congress' approval of the fiscal year 2015 budget, the agency will expand its hours nationwide and offices will be open to the public for an additional hour on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.


This change will go into effect on March 16, 2015.


Offices will continue to close to the public at noon every Wednesday so employees have time to complete current work and reduce backlogs.


In recent years, SSA reduced local office hours due to congressional budget cuts, growing backlogs and staffing losses. With the commitment of resources in fiscal year 2015, the agency is able to restore some service hours to the public.


Most Social Security business does not require a visit to a local office.  Many services, including applying for retirement, disability and Medicare benefits, creating a "My Social Security" account, replacing a Medicare card, or reporting a change of address or telephone number are conveniently available anytime at

Dear Ladies of NMP
Ladies of NMP


Can a Gift Be Returned in Order to Qualify for Medicaid?


Question:  My mother gave me $10,000 in 2012.   She now needs to go into a nursing home and will need to apply for Medicaid.  Can I give my mother back the $10,000 so she can qualify for Medicaid as she does not have the funds to cover the disqualification period?


Answer:  Yes, you can return the money to your mother. This is known as a "cure" and, in effect, erases the original transfer for Medicaid purposes.   


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Source: Reprinted from the Needham Mitnick & Pollack, PLC
January 2015 Newsletter (


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This newsletter is not intended to provide legal advice or to be a substitute for legal advice.  Anyone with specific legal questions should consult a legal advisor of their own choosing. 

IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: To ensure compliance with applicable requirements, please remember that any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this communication (including the attachments) is not intended or written to be used, for the purpose of (a) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (b) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or tax-related matter[s].

Copyright 2015 Needham Mitnick & Pollack, PLC. All Rights Reserved.

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