E-Newsletter of November 19, 2013 | Vol. 6, No. 47
ITEM OF INTEREST
Kathy Eveslage of the Senior Law Project advocated on a client’s behalf and successfully changed the State health care programs manual ([HCPM), which contained incorrect information. The misinterpretation of the law resulted in hardship for elders across the state. The client was receiving personal care attendant (PCA) and housekeeping services under the Elderly Waiver (EW) program. She was also a recipient of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Minnesota Supplemental Aid (MSA) benefits. The client received additional money under the MSA program for her unusual dietary needs caused by a complex medical condition. She was unable to eat preservatives of any kind and received $120 a month as an additional diet supplement [Combined Manual section 0023.12], which was added to the standard MSA grant of $81 a month. Both SSI and MSA are disregarded under the EW program [HCPM sections 20.25.35 and 20.25.30 respectively]. Food support benefits are also excluded from income [HCPM section 20.25.05]. The client should have received all of her EW services at no cost. Because the client received her diet supplement in a cash grant, rather than on an EBT card that could only be used to purchase food, the county counted it as income and determined that she had to pay a waiver obligation of $92 a month for her care. The special diet supplement also counts as income for subsidized housing and increased the client’s rent. The client actually lost money because she was awarded a special dietary allowance. She could not buy the food she needed for her special dietary needs and meet her waiver obligation. When the client was unable to pay the waiver obligation, her housekeeping services were terminated for non-payment. Project staff contacted the Department of Human Services (DHS), and they agreed that it would be improper to count the special dietary supplement as income. They had never intended to count the funds, which were specifically designated for special dietary needs. DHS sent an internal memo to every state employee informing them that the manual provision that instructed them to count the supplement as income was incorrect. DHS staff also contacted several counties directly as they had been incorrectly told by DHS staff that they needed to count the special diet grant as income. DHS has also indicated they will be correcting the information in the HCPM in the future which will benefits all others in this situation. Kathy had resolved this same issue in 2008 in another identical appeal but the manual provision was never corrected. Both cases were at the State Fair Hearing level but were resolved by DHS and the hearing requests were withdrawn
Submitted by Kathy Eveslage
PRO BONO SPOTLIGHT
There is no pro bono spotlight this week.
Under Observation - A Costly Concern for MN Seniors | Public News Service
21 Minn. hospitals penalized for poor quality scores | MPR News
November is National Family Caregiver Month | St. Peter Herald
Minn. caregivers for disabled, elderly seek boost | MPR News
Submitted by Joel Smith
There are no cases to report this week.
There are no statutes, regulations, or bulletins to report.
There are no upcoming events or CLE programs to report.
VULNERABLE ADULT SUBCOMMITTEE ANNOUNCEMENT: There are planned Vulnerable Adult Subcommittee meetings on the following dates from 12:00 to 1:30 to be held in my office in Edina (5001 Chowen Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55410). The dates are November 21, 2013, January 16, 2014, and April 17, 2014. Please call Ken LaBore at 612-743-9048 or email him at KLaBore@MNnursinghomeneglect.com.
NEW LAWYERS COMMITTEE: Meetings will be held the second Thursday of every other month starting November 14, 2013 at noon. Meetings will be held at Chestnut Cambronne PA 17 Washington Ave N #300, Minneapolis, MN, 55401. Please contact Pook Grathwol at firstname.lastname@example.org or (612) 336-2919 or Jeanine Johnson at email@example.com (612) 630-3254.
MA COMMITTEE MEETING: The next MA Committee meeting will be at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 17, 2013. The Medical Assistance Committee is a study group to analyze Elder Law Section member questions and case studies and to discuss administrative policies and procedures in relation to Medical Assistance in Minnesota, Pook Grathwol of CHESTNUT CAMBRONNE P.A., is Committee Chair. For directions, or to attend by phone, please contact Bill Lent with CHESTNUT CAMBRONNE, P.A., at 612-336-2948 at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.
Topics for the meeting may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org under the subject heading “MA Committee Topic”, or faxed to 612-336-2940. Please be reminded that the meeting location is: Estate & Elder Law Services, Monroe Village, 1900 Central Avenue NE, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55418. The meeting takes place in the building’s conference room. There are a few parking spaces behind the building and lots of street parking. People should walk to the back of the building and come to the back door that faces directly into the meeting room.
GOVERNING COUNCIL: The next meeting of the Elder Law Section Governing Council will be on Friday, December 20 at 3:30 pm. Please be reminded that the meeting location is: Estate & Elder Law Services, Monroe Village, 1900 Central Avenue NE, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55418. The meeting takes place in the building’s conference room. There are a few parking spaces behind the building and lots of street parking. People should walk to the back of the building and come to the back door that faces directly into the meeting room. For further information, please contact David Rephan, Chair, at: email@example.com.
DON'T FORGET THAT THE ELDER LAW WEBSITE IS A GREAT RESOURCE. Here’s what you can find on the Website: Links to the DHS Health Care Programs Manual, the DHS Bulletin on treatment of uncompensated transfers, the Minnesota Bankers Association Compliance Bulletin on Powers of Attorney, legislative summary; Practice Links to organizations such as NAELA, ABA Commission on Law and Aging, Links to Federal and State Government Agencies, Statutes, and Regulations; Meeting Notices, Listings of Officers and Council Members, Section Bylaws, and more.
Go to the Section Website