Elder Law of Louisville's Blog

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Whitney Wilson Teaches VA Benefits

Congratulations are in order to our attorney, Whitney Wilson.  Her recent presentation at the National Business Institute's seminar on Elder Law: Financing Long Term Care and Obtaining VA Benefits, was a success.  Ms. Wilson wrote and presented all the VA Benefit topics and her presentation was approved by the VA for continuing education credits for VA accredited agents, attorneys and representatives!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Upcoming Publications and Speaking Engagements

Our attorneys here at Elder Law of Louisville have been busy.  Following a successful, VA accredited presentation on VA benefits by Ms. Wilson earlier this month, Eileen Walsh and Whitney Wilson have been tapped to provide an article for the KY Bar Association's quarterly publication, Bar Briefs.  Their article, titled How to Finance Long Term Care Without Medicaid, will appear in the upcoming edition of Bar Briefs dedicated to Elder Law.

If you are interested in learning more about Elder Law, be sure to attend the Elder Law CLE presented by the KY Bar Association's Elder Law Section on April 11, 2013.  It is a half-day seminar held at Keenland.  The seminar will be in the morning, followed by afternoon horse racing.  Ms. Walsh and Ms. Wilson are both presenting at this event.

We also encourage all our colleagues to attend the Ky Bar Association's Annual Convention this June in Louisville, KY.  Ms. Wilson will be a co-presenter on a Top 10 Tips and Tricks for Elder Law.

And, let's not forget to pick up the 2013 Edition of the Kentucky Elder Law Book published by West as part of their KY Practice Series.  The latest edition will have all the updated 2013 numbers, including Ms. Wilson's revised chapter on VA Pension benefits, and discuss some new developments in the law.  The book is expected to be available in April or May, 2013.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

2013 VA Pension Rates

Since December, 2012, we have known the VA Pension Benefit, commonly referred to as the Aid & Attendance Benefit, was increasing by 1.7%.  The Dept. of Veterans Affairs has finally released their official 2013 benefit rates.


Base Pension: $1038 per month, or $12,465 per year

Housebound Benefit: $1269 per month, or $15,233 per year

Aid & Attendance Benefit: $1732 per month, or $20,795 per year



Base Pension: $1360 per month, or $16,324 per year

Housebound Benefit: $1591 per month, or $19,093 per year

Aid & Attendance Benefit: $2054 per month, or $24,652 per year



Base Pension: $696 per month, or $8,359 per year

Housebound Benefit: $851 per month, or $10,217 per year

Aid & Attendance Benefit: $1,112 per month, or $13,362 per year


Monday, November 5, 2012

Hiring A Caregiver: Employ One Yourself, or Go Through an Agency?

Most seniors prefer to stay at home as long as possible rather than move into a nursing home. For many families, this means eventually hiring a caregiver to look after an aging relative. There are two main ways to hire someone: directly or through a home health agency.

Hiring directly: When you hire a caregiver directly, you need to consider all the tax and liability issues. As an employer, you are responsible for filing payroll taxes, tax forms, and verifying that the employee can legally work in the United States. If you pay $1,700 or more in wages in 2011 to any one employee, you need to withhold and pay Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you pay more than $1,000 in wages in 2011, you need to pay unemployment taxes. In addition, a private caregiver may not carry his or her own liability insurance or workers' compensation. If an accident occurs on the job, you could be responsible.

The benefit of hiring a caregiver directly is that you have more control over who you hire and can choose someone who you feel is right for your family. In addition, hiring privately is usually cheaper than hiring through a home health agency. For more information from on hiring a caregiver directly, click here.

The agency route: When you hire through a home health agency, the agency is the employer, so you don't need to worry about tax and liability issues. The agency takes care of screening the employees, doing background checks, and providing insurance. In addition a licensed home care agency must provide ongoing supervision to its employees. It can help the employees deal with difficult family situations or changing needs. The agency may also be able to provide back-up if a regular caregiver is not available.

The downside of going through an agency is not having as much input into the selection of the caregiver. In addition, caregivers may change or alternate, causing a disruption in care and confusion. To find a home health care agency near you, click here.



Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Social Security, SSI, and VA Pension Benefits to Increase 1.7% in 2013; Medicare Premiums Set to Rise as Well

Social Security recipients will see their monthly payments go up by 1.7% next year.  The increase, which starts in January, is tied to a measure of inflation released Tuesday. It shows that inflation has been relatively low over the past year, resulting in one of the smallest increases in Social Security payments since automatic adjustments were adopted in 1975.  Compare that to the 3.6% increase in 2012.

This announcement means that many other government benefits will also increase.  People who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will see their benefits increase by 1.7%.  Currently, the maximum SSI benefit for a single individual is $698 per month.  This means that, in 2013, the benefit will increase to around $709 per month. 

Those receiving the VA Improved Pension benefit, often referred to as Aid & Attendance, will also see their benefit amount increase by 1.7%.  A married wartime veteran receiving the maximum Improved Pension with the Special Monthly Enhancement for Aid & Attendance, currently $2,019 per month, will see that benefit increase to around $2,053 per month.

Announced in conjunction with the 1.7% increase in benefits is news that Medicare premiums will increase in 2013.  The Medicare Part B premium, which is deducted from Social Security payments, increased to $99.90 for most recipients in 2012.  It is expected to increase by about $7.00 in 2013.  Medicare is expected to announce the official increase in a couple of weeks.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Listen to Whitney Wilson Talk Elder Law on FM 970, Sat, Nov. 10th, 1-2pm

Tune in to the Your Home & Life show on FM 970, Saturday, November 10th from 1-2pm to hear Whitney Wilson interviewed regarding elder law!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Eileen Walsh elected to Board of Directors of KGA

Congratulations go to Eileen Walsh on her election to the Board of Directors of the Kentucky Guardianship Association.

Monday, October 8, 2012

New Pooled Special Needs Trust Coming to KY

For some time Kentucky has lacked a pooled special needs trusts for its disabled citizens.  Disabled individuals looking to place their money in a pooled special needs trust in order to qualify for disability benefits, such as SSI, have had to place their money in pooled special needs trusts located in other states.

At its 2012 annual meeting, the Kentucky Guardianship Association (KGA) approved a motion to create and administer a Kentucky Pooled Special Needs Trust.  Spearheaded by Attorney Robert McClelland, out of Lexington, Kentucky, the overall plan consists of two parts.  First, the KGA has given Mr. McClelland the approval to create a pooled special needs trust and present it to Kentucky Medicaid for approval.  This trust will be specifically for those disabled individuals who are wards of the state, meaning those individuals whose Court appointed guardian is the state of Kentucky.

Once the first trust is up and running, the KGA will create a second pooled special needs trust.  This trust will be for those disabled individuals under private guardianship.

This is a very exciting development for disabled individual in the state of Kentucky.

Monday, October 1, 2012

2012 Senior Day Out is Tuesday, Oct 9th

More than 1,800 seniors and disabled people are expected to gather for fun, food and fellowship on Tuesday at the 2012 Senior Day Out in Louisville.

Participants will enjoy a complimentary lunch, educational activities, health screenings, guest speakers, dancing, bingo and other activities.

Senior Day Out will be held from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Kentucky International Convention Center at Fourth and Market streets. People need to register in advance for the free lunch, but others are welcome to participate without the lunch.

Louisville Metro TRIAD is the host of the event, along with more than 30 other sponsors. It is expected to draw about 80 exhibitors and a variety of education and entertainment activities.

Attendees can learn about safety information, recreational activities, consumer protection and financial education, and take advantage of health screenings and flu shots. Music will be provided by the Street Heat Band, and the dance floor will be open.

Officials of Louisville Metro TRIAD, a grass-roots partnership among local law enforcement, representatives of senior groups, service providers and community volunteers, said they are committed to bringing valuable services and programs to seniors at this event — now in its 12th year.

“Senior Day Out is one of many ways we support Louisville area seniors, a population that is steadily growing,” said Cindy Venable, director of the Louisville Metro Office for Aging & Disabled Citizens. “Each year, many of this region’s key organizations pool their resources to create the most informative environment possible, which is one reason why this event is so successful.”

For more information, or to make lunch reservations, call the Office for Aging & Disabled Citizens at 574-5092.


Courtesy The Courier-Journal.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Whitney Wilson Elected Vice-Chair of Elder Law Section of KBA

Congratulations go out to Whitney Wilson.  She has been elected by her colleagues as Vice-Chair of the Elder Law Section of the Kentucky Bar Association.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Walsh & Wilson is now ELDER LAW of LOUISVILLE!

We are excited to announce that Walsh & Wilson, PLLC is now ELDER LAW of LOUISVILLE!  Eileen Walsh and Whitney Wilson continue to own, operate and manage this law firm, dedicated to helping seniors and their families navigate life's path.  Our focus is putting all the pieces of the puzzle in place to protect assets, finance long term care, and stay at home as long as possible.

We are also excited to announce that we have moved into our new offices.  Our new address is 4500 Bowling Boulevard, Suite 150, Louisville, Kentucky 40207.  The number has not changed, (502) 410-5080.  Feel free to drop by and see our new space!

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The attorneys of Elder Law of Louisville (formerly Walsh & Wilson, PLLC) assist clients in Louisville, Kentucky and surrounding counties of Jefferson, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer, and Bullitt. Our Office also serves Southern Indiana and the towns of New Albany, Jeffersonville, and Clarksville.

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4500 Bowling Boulevard, Suite 150, Louisville, KY 40207
| Phone: 502-410-5080

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