What is Government Benefits Planning?

For aging individuals, the government offers various invaluable benefits such as Medi-Cal Benefits and Veterans Pension benefits to help pay for the cost of short-term or long-term nursing home care. When an unexpected illness or deteriorating health issue requires you to receive services at a skilled nursing facility the costs can be astronomical, often exceeding $8,000 per month. It is critical to learn about available benefits and plan accordingly. 

Each of these programs have their own rules governing eligibility and these rules are constantly changing. It is important to speak with an attorney to see how you can qualify.

What is Medi-Cal?

Medi-Cal is a government benefit that can help individuals with limited resources afford short-term and long-term nursing home care. There are certain income and asset requirements you must meet to be eligible for Medi-Cal. For example, you cannot have more than $2,000 in assets if you are a single individual. If you are married, that asset requirement is a little higher. There are, however, some assets, such as your primary residence or your Individual Retirement Account (IRA) which are considered “exempt”. This means Medi-Cal will not count the value of those “exempt” assets. 

Even if the size of your estate exceeds the Medi-Cal asset limit, with appropriate planning, you can still qualify. It is important to start the planning process early.

Each of these programs have their own rules governing eligibility and these rules are constantly changing. It is important to speak with an attorney to see how you can qualify.

What Are Veterans’ Pension Benefits?

To qualify for Veterans’ Pension benefits, you must be a veteran who served at least 90 days of active duty (does not have to have been in combat) or you must be the surviving spouse of a wartime veteran (married at the time of the veteran’s death). The veteran must have been discharged other than dishonorably, and the veteran must have also served at least one day of active duty during the following wartimes:

WWII (12/7/41 to 12/31/46)
Korea (6/27/50 to 1/31/55)
Vietnam (2/28/61 to 5/7/75)
(for Veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period; otherwise 8/5/64 to 5/7/75)

Gulf War (8/2/90 – through a future date to be set by law or Presidential Proclamation)

The veteran or the surviving spouse of the veteran must have a net worth of less $123,600 to qualify.

How do I know if I qualify?

Even if the size of your estate exceeds the asset limitations for Medi-Cal or Veterans’ Pension Benefits, at Basar Law, we will assess your needs and create a plan that helps you qualify using various strategies depending on your family and asset information.

Estate Planning

The flexibility of trusts make them an appealing estate planning tool. 


In the event a loved one dies without an estate plan in place, we can help you determine if probate is needed and walk you through this process.

Trust Administration

For those who are facing deteriorating health and in need of additional help, we can help you decide if you qualify for Medi-Cal or Veterans benefits.


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