New Rule Protects Seniors and Disabled Adults from Financial Exploitation

New Jersey elder law attorneyWith technology becoming increasingly prominent in our every day lives, the risk of financial exploitation has increased as well. Those that are especially at risk include the elderly and adults with mental or physical impairments and scammers know to take advantage of them. Instances of financial exploitation commonly involve:

  • Telephone scams requesting money for a loved one in trouble; financial information; donations; or claiming you are the winner of a lottery or sweepstakes
  • Professional” scams where people are pressured into taking out loans or participating in investment schemes that promise unrealistic returns
  • Misuse of a Power of Attorney or joint bank accounts by family members

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What Happens to Student Loan Debt after You Die or Become Disabled?

If you die or become disabled unexpectedly while carrying student loan debt, it becomes even more difficult to pay it off. What happens to you were to die or become disabled with this debt? With students carrying hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt after graduation, a tragic life event can leave the borrower and/or their family with a mountain of debt that may be impossible to pay off. Some may try to write it off, but bankruptcy regulations forbid them from doing so, barring extreme circumstances.

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DDD and Medicaid

If a recipient needs services from the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD), that recipient must qualify for Medicaid.   The changes enacted have affected many DDD recipients.

Any new DDD application is required to meet the functional criteria and have Medicaid eligibility before they can begin receiving any services. If a person already receives DDD benefits but has not secured Medicaid, that individual must become Medicaid eligible to ensure continuation of current services and prior to receiving any new service.

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ABLE Act

On December 19, 2014, the President signed into law the Achieving a Better Life (ABLE) Act of 2014, which allows for disabled persons to have limited savings accounts, without jeopardizing any governmental benefits received by that disabled person.   The Treasury is to create regulations with respect to ABLE act accounts.   The ABLE account is intended to be similar to a 529 Plan.   There is a limit on what can be contributed to the account, but the disabled person would have the ability to withdraw monies from the account to meet his or her needs on an on-going basis.

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