Orlando Elder Law Attorney
Dedicated Elder Law Attorney Serving Maitland and Orlando
Our needs change as we get older, most significantly in the areas of our finances and health care. According to the AARP, more than half of all Americans at age 65 now will need some form of long-term care at some point in their lives. With these odds, planning for the possible need for long-term care is essential for anyone who wants to make sure they can afford such care for themselves and their spouse, while still having the funds to continue maintaining a good quality of life and leaving a legacy for their children and grandchildren. At the Law Offices of Shea A. Fugate, P.A., our dedicated and experienced Orlando elder law attorney can help you understand and plan for all your elder law legal needs, including long-term care and Medicaid planning, long-term disability denials, and more.
Long-Term Care Planning
Florida nursing homes charge more than $90,000 a year for a semi-private room. Assisted living facilities or home health aides cost more than $3,000 a month, or $4,000 monthly if specialized Alzheimer’s or memory care is required. For many people, long-term care is simply not affordable without government assistance. Unfortunately, Medicare won’t help with long-term care costs. Medicaid, on the other hand, does pay for long-term care. Medicaid, however, is a needs-based program only open to people with low incomes. Seniors who didn’t plan for the need for long-term care find themselves forced to sell off their assets and spend down their life savings to qualify for Medicaid, leaving nothing left over for a spouse, children or grandchildren after a lifetime of working and saving.
Maitland and Orlando elder law attorney Shea Fugate can help you figure out the right kind of planning and tools that will help you qualify for Medicaid while still hanging on to your valuable assets. At the Law Offices of Shea A. Fugate, P.A., we engage in Medicaid planning and nursing home planning that best suits your needs. Another option is long-term care insurance. This type of insurance is affordable when you are young and healthy, and it can be a good investment that grows to a sizable payout over time. Unfortunately, not everyone thinks to purchase LTC insurance when they are young and healthy, and often people who need this insurance the most either cannot qualify for it or cannot afford it. We’ll explore all your options with you and help you find the best solutions in your particular situation.
Long-Term Disability Denials
Long-term disability (LTD) insurance offers replacement income if the policyholder becomes disabled and can’t work due to an illness, accident or some other disabling event or condition. LTD insurance can be purchased privately, but you can also get it as a fringe benefit from an employer or as a benefit from belonging to a professional organization. LTD insurance can be a great benefit through employment, but it can be very expensive to obtain privately for people who are older, in less than perfect health, or who earn a high income.
Those who do have LTD insurance often find their claims denied for a myriad of different reasons, such as failure to provide proof of loss in the time and fashion required by the policy, or not providing enough or the right kind of documentation to support your claim. Others find their benefits cut short while they are still disabled. LTD insurers constantly review your situation and continually require documentation of your disability. Carriers conduct surveillance or surprise visits to “catch” you and say you aren’t disabled any longer and could go back to work. They even use statistics and tables to say you are ready to go back to work without assessing you individually.
Many times, these claim denials or terminations are illegal and in bad faith. In these cases, you can pursue a civil claim for damages, including the benefits you are owed as well as any other harm that has been caused by an unfair denial or termination. A federal law known as ERISA covers most group plans and requires that you first exhaust all available administrative remedies before going to court. As a skilled and experienced social security disability lawyer, Shea Fugate knows her way around administrative agency hearings as well as federal court. We understand how the documentation you provide in the administrative process has consequences on what evidence you can later submit in court. Our offices work with your doctors to make sure your disability is properly documented in the medical record, and we advocate effectively on your behalf. Policyholders often do or say the wrong thing when trying to get benefits and only further damage their case. We know the right steps to take and when to take them.
Comprehensive Maitland & Orlando Elder Law Attorney
For all your elder law needs in Maitland and Orlando, including Medicaid planning, nursing home planning, long-term care planning or long-term disability denials, call the Law Offices of Shea A. Fugate, P.A. for a free consultation with a dedicated and experienced Orlando elder law attorney.