Are you or a loved one thinking of applying for the Arizona Long Term Care System (ALCTS)? Before you do that, you should review the eligibility requirements, as they are not that easy to meet. Only 21% of those why apply by themselves meet the ALTCS eligibility requirements. The least you can do is find out more on the subject.
ALTCS Application Process
In order to apply for ALTCS, you need to call their nearest office. The application process consists of two interviews or evaluations aiming to assess your financial and medical eligibility. There are also a few general requirements. We will review all of them in the following lines.
ALTCS Eligibility Requirements
As an applicant, you have to be an American citizen or a qualified immigrant and have an SSN (Social Security Number). You should also reside in Arizona and apply for any and all cash benefits you are entitled to so that AHCCCS can assess your financial eligibility. You should have an approved living arrangement, like a place in an AHCCCS-certified nursing facility, your home, or an assisted living facility arrangement.
The program is mainly addressed to residents who need nursing home level of care according to AHCCCS determinations and have countable resources lower than $2,000. To assess applicant eligibility, the AHCCCS has further financial and medical requirements in place, reviewed in the following lines.
Financial ALTCS Eligibility Requirements
If you are a single applicant, your countable resources cannot exceed $2,000. Being married may allow you some additional resources meant to cater to your spouse’s needs, as long as the latter does not live in a medical facility. It will also bring about the need for you to attach a Community Spouse Information Sheet.
When determining your financial eligibility, the AHCCCS will count the following resources:
- Wages, Supplemental Security Income and Social Security benefits, retirement or disability pensions
- Any savings, checking, or credit union accounts
- Real estate property that you don’t live in
- The value of your life insurance policies
- Cash and investments like bonds, certificates of deposits, or stocks
- Non-exempt vehicles
Here are the resources they do not count:
- Your home, as long as you live in and it is not held in a trust
- Your vehicle (if you own more than one, they will take the rest into account)
- Burial arrangements (irrevocable burial plans, burial plot)
- $1500 meant to cover your burial expenses
The gross income limit imposed by the AHCCCS for 2019 is $2,313. If your income slightly exceeds the limit, setting up a special trust could help you qualify. To find out more about it, you can ask for the Special Treatment Trust Information Sheet from the nearest office.
Medical ALTCS Eligibility Requirements
To prove your eligibility from the medical point of view, you will have to undergo a pre-admission screening process. It is an interview meant to assess your health by looking into everyday life aspects like incontinence, behavior, need for assistance with daily routine, etc.
The registered nurse or social worker conducting the interview will also look at your medical records, to see if they match your statements. In order to meet the medical eligibility requirements, you will have to prove that you need institutionalized care in a nursing facility, or if you suffer from some intellectual disability, in an intermediate care facility.
How to Make Sure that You Meet ALTCS Eligibility Requirements
AHCCCS has quite strict eligibility requirements, and meeting them will not be easy. Reapplying takes time and, without a major change in your situation, chances are the verdict will be the same. To secure the desired verdict for your application, you should consider working with an elder law attorney experienced in ALTCS applications. They will assess your eligibility and help you meet the AHCCCS requirements.
If your income exceeds the above-mentioned limits by far, or your medical condition does not justify institutionalized care, you should consider financial planning services. A financial advisor can help you plan for these types of future expenses if you do not meet the ALTCS requirements.
Liz S. Coyle is the Director of Client Services for JacksonWhite Attorneys at Law. She also serves as a paralegal for the Family Law Department. She is responsible for internal and external communications for the firm.
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