Leah McElmoyl

Leah McElmoyl

Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel, P.C.

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Don't Forget: Some SSI Beneficiaries Can Switch to SSDI When a Parent's Circumstances Change

Because of her disability, a person receiving SSI may not have worked long enough to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits on her own work record. Therefore, once she meets the government’s strict...more

4/14/2016 - Social Security Benefits Social Security Disability SSDI SSI

Department of Labor Issues Guide for Employing Home Care Workers

If you employ a home care worker who provides services for a family member with disabilities, you may have to deal with the very strict wage and hour requirements of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. These requirements...more

4/13/2016 - DOL FLSA Home Healthcare Workers Wage and Hour

New SSA Policy Makes It Easier to Understand Why Your Special Needs Trust Was Rejected

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently issued an Emergency Message to all personnel requiring workers to specifically inform Supplemental Security Income (SSI) applicants or beneficiaries of the reasons a special...more

4/8/2016 - Administrative Appeals Social Security Administration (SSA) Special Needs Trust Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Program Provides Tax Benefits to Workers Shouldering Care Expenses

Workers who must pay for the care of a dependant relative, including a child with special needs, so that they can continue to work can get a significant tax benefit under a little-known provision of the Internal Revenue Code,...more

4/7/2016 - Dependent Care Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP) Employee Benefits IRS Special Needs Children Tax Credits

Last Chance to Use File and Suspend Strategy for Claiming Social Security Benefits

Time is running out to use a potentially very lucrative Social Security benefits-claiming strategy. Spouses will no longer be able to use the "file and suspend" strategy after April 29, 2016. Beware, however, that the new...more

3/8/2016 - Retirement Social Security Benefits Spouses

Things to Remember at Tax Time

April 15th is approaching and it is time to begin crossing T's and dotting I's in preparation for paying taxes. As tax time draws near, you want to make sure you file all the proper forms and take all deductions you're...more

3/7/2016 - Gifts Income Taxes IRS Medical Expenses Tax Deductions Tax Refunds Tax Returns

How Likely Are You to Need Long-Term Care?

Planning for retirement and deciding whether to buy long-term care insurance would be a lot easier if you knew your odds of needing long-term care, as well as at what age and for how long. Unfortunately, there's no definite...more

3/4/2016 - Elder Issues End-of-Life-Care Health Insurance Long-Term Care Nursing Homes Retirement

Your Right to Refills If Medicare Drops Coverage of Your Drugs

Medicare prescription drug plans can change which drugs they cover, leaving you without coverage for a drug you need. Or you may switch plans into a plan that doesn't cover your medication. In these circumstances, Medicare...more

3/3/2016 - Long Term Care Facilities Medicare Medicare Advantage Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Coverage

New Rules Will Make It Harder to Qualify for Long-Term Care Help From the VA

The Veteran's Administration (VA) offers a pension benefit to low-income veterans (or their spouses) who are in nursing homes or who need help at home with everyday tasks like dressing or bathing. The pension, called Aid and...more

11/12/2015 - Aid and Attendance Benefits Long-Term Care Look-Back Measurement Period Penalties Pensions Surviving Spouse Veterans Veterans Administration

Do Frequent Flier Miles Expire When You Do?

Accumulated frequent flier miles can be valuable assets, but what happens to those miles after somene dies? Can a spouse or other heirs inherit them, or do the miles simply evaporate like a contrail? The answer to...more

11/11/2015 - Airlines Beneficiaries Customer-Loyalty Programs

What Is Cost Basis and How Do You Prove It?

Knowing the "cost basis" of your property is important for tax purposes, but proving cost basis can be difficult. Cost basis adjusts at death, so it is a good idea to appraise property when a joint owner dies. Cost basis...more

11/10/2015 - Capital Gains Cost Basis Homeowners Inheritance Property Tax

Medicare Open Enrollment Means It's Time to Shop Around

Are you happy with your Medicare coverage? Could you get a better plan for less money? It is time to review whether your plan or plans are working for you. Medicare's open enrollment period, in which you can enroll in or...more

11/9/2015 - Health Insurance Medicare Medicare Part D Open Enrollment

Tax Deductions and Credits for People with Disabilities and Their Families

If you or your spouse have a disability, or if you care for a dependent with a disability, you may be able to qualify for one or more tax credits and deductions. Here is a description of some of the more common ones...more

10/13/2015 - Dependent Care Disability Earned Income Credit Medical Expenses Special Needs Adults Tax Credits

Senate Passes Special Needs Trust Fairness Act; Focus Shifts to House

The Senate has unanimously approved the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act, a bill that would allow people with disabilities to create their own first-party special needs trusts without having to rely on others. Now that...more

10/12/2015 - Disabled Pending Legislation Special Needs Adults Special Needs Trust Special Needs Trust Fairness Act

Transferring Assets Could Create a Long Waiting Period When It Comes Time to Apply for SSI

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal program that helps people with disabilities and very low incomes pay for food, clothing and shelter. Unlike some other disability benefits, SSI is a "needs-based" program, which...more

10/9/2015 - Asset Transfer Disability Benefits Penalties Social Security Administration (SSA) Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Recent Case Spotlights Problem of Excluding People with Special Needs From Gifting Plans

In an effort to preserve government benefits for a child with special needs, parents giving gifts to children will sometimes provide nothing to the child with special needs while giving substantial amounts to the child’s...more

10/8/2015 - Disability Benefits Estate Planning Special Needs Children Special Needs Trust

Use This Form to Avoid Loved Ones Being Denied Medical Information About You

If you are in the hospital, the last thing you want is for a family member or a trusted friend to be denied information about your condition or prognosis. But this could happen if you haven’t already given authorization...more

7/7/2015 - Forms Health Care Providers Healthcare HIPAA Power of Attorney Releases

Decisions to Make for Your Power of Attorney

A power of attorney may seem like a simple document, but there are several important decisions that need to be made when creating one. From whom to appoint to what powers to grant, care and consideration should be put into...more

5/15/2015 - Estate Planning Power of Attorney

VA Eliminates Net Worth Requirement for Health Care

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has updated the way it determines eligibility for VA health care benefits, making it easier for many veterans to get access to the benefits. The VA will no longer use the veteran's net...more

5/14/2015 - Department of Veterans Affairs Healthcare Veterans' Benefits

Cost of Private Nursing Home Room Now Averaging $91,250

The median cost of a private nursing home room in the United States has increased 4.2 percent to $91,250 a year, according to the 2015 edition of a Cost of Care survey that the insurer Genworth has conducted for the past 12...more

5/13/2015 - Healthcare Healthcare Costs Nursing Homes

Medicaid's Gift to Children Who Help Parents Postpone Nursing Home Care

In most states, transferring your house to your children (or someone else) may lead to a Medicaid penalty period, which would make you ineligible for Medicaid for a period of time. However, there are circumstances in which...more

5/12/2015 - Adult Children Medicaid Penalties Real Estate Transfers

Special Needs Trust Fairness Act Reintroduced in Congress

After falling short in the previous Congress, Congressmen Glenn 'GT' Thompson (R-Pa) and Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) recently introduced the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act of 2015, a bill designed to make it easier for people...more

4/16/2015 - Special Needs Adults Special Needs Trust

Recreational Vehicles and Government Benefits Are Not a Walk in the Park

If you own or are thinking of owning a recreational vehicle (RV), you need to consider the vehicle's impact on your government benefits, especially Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid....more

4/15/2015 - Medicaid Social Security Benefits

Can a Person Who Receives Disability Benefits Own a Car?

The short answer is yes. Although many disability benefit programs like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid impose resource limits on beneficiaries, a beneficiary's household is allowed to own one vehicle of any...more

4/14/2015 - Disability Benefits Motor Vehicles Social Security Disability

Special Needs Trusts and Financial Aid: What Should Applicants Do?

Out of all of the stress-inducing steps in the college application process, the financial aid application may be the most confusing and stressful of all, especially when an applicant can't afford to attend college without...more

4/13/2015 - FAFSA Federal Student Aid Financial Aid Special Needs Trust

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