New Seminar!

START PLANNING NOW FOR THE SECOND HALF OF LIFE…

MAKE SURE YOU RESERVE YOUR SPOT AT THIS NEW SEMINAR BEFORE THEY ARE ALL GONE!

Carney Elder Law invites you to another FREE seminar..

“How To Get And Pay For Quality Long-Term Care At Home, In An Assisted Living Facility, Or Nursing Home..Without Selling Your Home or Leaving Your Family Without a Dime”

 

Presented by Janis A. Carney, Certified Elder Law Attorney,
with SPECIAL GUEST Don Quante, co-author of Don’t Go Broke In a Nursing Home

Highlights include:
• How to avoid having your life savings wiped out by the costs of long-term care
• What legal documents you need for the second half of life
• The asset protection language that most people don’t have in their power of attorney documents, which can help protect their life’s savings
• Veteran’s benefits that most people know nothing about
• How Medi-Cal works, what it covers, and the steps you need to take now to protect your family
• How to find the right Senior Care Facility and what to expect in the process and when you get there

THERE IS ONLY 1 SESSION AVAILABLE!

Thursday, January 28, 2016 at 2:30pm
at the
Alameda Family Funeral & Cremation, Inc.
12341 Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road
Saratoga, CA 95070

SEATING IS VERY LIMITED!
Please RSVP by calling us at 408-402-6440 or SIGN UP HERE—->https://elderattorneyseminars.com/carney-saratoga

We look forward to seeing you there!

The Soldier’s Story: An Ongoing Sacrifice

In his Veteran’s Day speech, Zell Miller, a former governor and US senator from the state of Georgia, gets to the essence of what the soldier gives to us as Americans:

“It has been said so truthfully that it is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press.  It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.   It is the soldier, not the agitator, who has given us the freedom to protest.  It is the soldier who salutes the flag, serves beneath the flag, whose coffin is draped by the flag, who gives the protestor the freedom to abuse and burn that flag.Continue reading

No More EVR?

What is the effect on Veterans and their widows of the VA’s discontinuance of the EVR procedure?

The VA has just announced that it is no longer going to send out the forms and require the annual Eligibility Verification Report (EVR) to reconfirm benefits that are based on financial need, such as the VA Pension, with or without the Aid and Attendance supplement. This procedural change shifts the burden totally to the beneficiary (or his representative) to remember to report changes in income or expenses that would effect his eligibility. If such changes would reduce the amount of the benefits the beneficiary would be entitled to receive, the VA can and will demand reimbursement of the overpayment, even years later. Of course, if the beneficiary’s income goes down, such that the beneficiary would have been entitled to MORE benefits, the VA will do nothing. It will be up to the beneficiary to provide the relevant data and make the claim for the added benefits by the end of the year following when the income changed.

In addition, again because there is no EVR annual report due anymore, it is now totally up to the beneficiary to remember to report any change in his unreimbursed medical expenses (UMEs) as well. Unfortunately, while the VA can go back years to surcharge for additional income it finds, the beneficiary has only until the end of the following year to report an increase in his UME that offsets the increased income. Failure to report increases in his UME, thus, could cause the VA to determine there was an overpayment in situations where, had the beneficiary reported his increased expenses, there would have been no overpayment. Due to the potential problems this could cause the beneficiary years down the road when the VA finds the unreported additional income, it is now vital that every beneficiary (or his representative) establish the habit of always reporting to the VA when there is any change in the beneficiary’s income or expenses.

 

Thoughts on Veterans’ Day

As I considered the meaning Veteran’s Day for an inspirational moment I gave at my Rotary Club meeting this morning, l realized that I wanted to share my feelings about all of the veterans in our country whom we will honor this Friday, Veterans Day.  I searched online for words I could use to inspire on the topic of veterans and found two poems that especially struck me.  
 
The first is from Zell Miller (a former governor and US senator from the state of Georgia) the goes to the essence of what the soldier gives to us as Americans:
 
“It has been said so truthfully
that it is the soldier, not the reporter,
who has given us the freedom of the press.  
 
It is the soldier, not the poet,
who has given us freedom of speech.  
 
It is the soldier, not the agitator,
who has given us the freedom to protest.  
 
It is the soldier who salutes the flag,
serves beneath the flag,
whose coffin is draped by the flag,
who gives the protestor the freedom
to abuse and burn that flag.”

 
I found many acknowledgments of the sacrifices our soldiers, and their families, make to give us the freedoms Mr Miller spoke of in his poem.  These sorts of speeches are what I think of when I contemplate what a Veterans Day speech will include.  And well they should, as we need to be reminded of what a dangerous and terrible job it is, this soldiering.  How so many veterans have received grave wounds or died in protecting our freedoms.
 
However, one story I read online surprised me.  It was actually a blog written for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History ‘s website last year (November 9, 2010) by Naomi Coquillion, an education specialist for the museum.  Ms Coquillion wrote about the effect recounting his stories has on a soldier.  Certainly, as Ms. Coquillion writes, talking about his or her experiences can be healing for many veterans as they unburden themselves of their difficult or terrible experiences.  Certainly, most of them appreciate having their service recognized.  Many elderly veterans feel an obligation to tell their stories to honor their comrades who are passing away at an ever increasing rate.  While time for these solders of the past may have separated them from their terrible experiences, Ms Coquillion reports still hearing the pain in their voices and the sadness of their experiences, even 60 years later.  
 
In researching for her article, Ms Coquillion found a poem by Siegfried Sassoon, a British veteran of the first world war, entitled Footnote on the War (On Being Asked to Contribute to a Regimental History).  In this poem, Mr Sassoon writes about his initial response to being asked to submit his recollections of the war.  Here is an excerpt:
 
“He asks me to submit my small quota
Of remembrances. What can I unbury?…
Seven years have crowded past me since I wrote a
Word on war that left me far from merry.
And in those seven odd years I have erected
A barrier, that my soul might be protected
Against the invading ghosts of what I saw
In years when Murder wore the mask of Law…
 
…Wars’s a mystery
Beyond my retrospection. And I am going
Onward, away from that Battalion history
With all of it’s expurgated dumps of dead:
and what remains to say, I leave unsaid.”

 
February 1926
Published in Sassoon, Siegfried. The War Poems. Londson: Faber and Faber, 1983  (Edited by Rupert hart-Davis)
 
As Ms Coquillion very insightfully put it:    While we rightly celebrate the sacrifices on this Veterans Day, the significances and true meaning of those sacrifices sometimes get lost.   And, perhaps we fail to acknowledge the extent to which even sharing those experiences may be a sacrifice itself.