As part of our Elder Law practice, we know things that others don't. Here's some important information:
Holocaust Reparations and Medicaid
You may already know that your assets and income are a big factor in the Medicaid you receive. Almost any money you have can be taken by Medicaid. However, Holocaust reparations are often exempt from Medicaid, but you must follow certain rules.
Note that in New Jersey, Medicaid will protect your reparations while you are alive, but seek recovery from them after you die. There is a bill pending to change this.
Separate Bank Account
Reparations should not be co-mingled with other assets. Therefore, you will need to keep your reparations in a separate bank account.
This can be any type of account or multiple accounts of various types. The account(s) simply must not contain funds from other sources of income. Any interest made on the account is not exempt from Medicaid.
If you have previously received reparations and did not put them in a separate bank account, that's okay. However, you must rectify this before applying for Medicaid by separating the money out. To separate out the right funds, you'll need to figure out the total amount of you've received in reparations.
Figuring Out The Amount of Reparations You've Received
You must retain proof of the total reparations you've received from their source, which will be a foreign government agency.
To do this, write a letter to that agency requesting your payment history. Include your name, address, date of birth, and case reference number. The case reference number, along with the agency to contact should be listed on any communications you receive along with your reparations.
There are many possible agencies from which your payments could originate so if you are unsure of where to send your letter, speak to the bank from which they are sent.
Your payment history will likely be provided to you in the currency of the originating country, which means you'll need to calculate the American dollar equivalent according to the conversion rate when each payment was made.
You can find historical conversion rates by selecting the country of origin (likely Austria or Germany) and year received and entering the amount here: http://fxtop.com/en/currency-converter-past.php
If you need help, please contact us at The Paton Law Firm.