Arizona Long Term Care System (“ALTCS”) provides necessary long-term care services, including in-home care, assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing care, to those individuals who meet certain medical, income, and asset criteria.  The ALTCS application process itself can be difficult.  ALTCS requires detailed information regarding current gross monthly income, proof of all current countable resources, and six months of medical records.

How Does Applying NOW During the Coronavirus Pandemic Affect My ALTCS Application?

Applying for ALTCS now is not very different than a typical ALTCS application, with a few specific exceptions.

First, ALTCS caseworkers often have remote access and in fact many have been able to work remotely for years.  ALTCS is still processing applications.  Federal and state guidelines require ALTCS render a decision on an application within 45 days.  These guidelines still apply.

Second, ALTCS will likely conduct any medical assessments via telephone, not in-person.  In this instance, it is critically important to be specific and honest about the level of care required.  Minimizing the description of the care required can result in adverse consequences.

Third, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has issued a “Stay at Home” Order for all Arizonans.  Essential businesses are still able to operate, including banks.  Yet, some banks may be operating at a limited capacity.  This is something to keep in mind if the applicant needs to obtain bank statements to comply with an “Asset Verification Request” from ALTCS.

What is an “Asset Verification Request” ?

Beyond proof of current financial information, ALTCS may ask about any flagged transactions in any account titled to the applicant within the last 5 years.  ALTCS may flag a transaction if in any given month, the difference between the receipts and disbursements in an account exceeds $2,000.00.   ALTCS refers to this as an “asset verification request.”  These requests must be fully responded to within 10 days.   Practically speaking, what occurs is that ALTCS will question a transaction that may have occurred months or years in the past.  It is critically important that the applicant be prepared to immediately explain the transaction and provide proof that the transaction was not a gift or uncompensated transfer.  The best approach would be to have documentation on hand, ready to be provided to ALTCS if requested.

In the current environment, it may be difficult to obtain immediate documentation from the banks if you do not plan ahead, or if you do not know what to anticipate.  If you are working with an attorney, the attorney will be able to help you assess what documentation must be obtained and how to be prepared to comply with all Asset Verification Requests.

Contact us today if you have questions or concerns regarding the best way to prepare and/or apply for ALTCS benefits.  We are here to help.

 

-Megan Selvey, Esq.