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Long term care programs available in Georgia

Georgians who may be wondering about long term elder care for themselves or loved ones are often confused and frustrated when they try to learn about their options. Nursing home and Medicaid planning may become overly complex for some individuals. Some plans, such as Medicaid, are funded by the federal government, and others are funded by the state. Different plans may have different eligibility standards.

Georgia is an "income cap state," that is, a person who hopes to use Medicaid payments must have an income that, at the time of application, is no higher than the applicable state limit. Miller trusts are often used to reduce income counted by the state, but such trusts are complex and should be drafted by an experienced attorney.

A number of specific nursing home assistance programs administered by the state are available to people with different financial or medical needs. The Independent Care Waiver Program provides special care services for people between the ages of 21 and 64 who are severely disabled. The Community Care Services Program provides home and community-based services to elderly or disabled people. The program includes case management, personal care, adult day care, and emergency response services. Service Options Using Resources in a Community Environment is a program available to those who are eligible for Supplemental Security Income or Medicaid. Supplemental Security Income is a financial assistance program provided to low-income people and families by the federal government.

Those seeking benefits from any of these programs must go through pre-admission screening to determine whether they are appropriate for nursing facility placement. These programs have a monthly income cap of $2,250, with a total resource limit of $2,000. The income and total asset limits can become complex, and a lawyer with experience in elder care law may be necessary to assist in making a successful application.

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