This year, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys held its Advanced Institute in Kansas City, Missouri from October 23 – 26. The program-of-events-10-31-08 shows that the presentations at the Institute covered a wide array of subjects. I attended two terrific sessions on the eligibility criteria for Veterans Administration (VA) service-related compensation benefits and non-service related pension benefits, including Home Bound benefits and Aid & Attendance benefits. The presenters also discussed how to appeal the denial of VA benefits. I also attended several sessions on special needs planning and Special Needs Trusts, counseling guardians and emergency guardianships, Social Security and SSI appeals and medical decision-making.

Although I’ve attended many NAELA Institutes and Symposia over the years, I never presented at any sessions. This year, for the first time, I presented on a subject that has come up repeatedly in cases I’ve handled recently. The title of my paper and presentation was “Financial Exploitation of the Elderly and Its Impact on Medicaid Eligibility: A Case Study and Survey.” Although I’ve read many articles on the financial exploitation of the elderly, I haven’t seen anything discussing the effect that the exploitation has on the victim’s Medicaid eligibility. I believe we will be seeing this problem come up more in the future. A number of the attendees also had cases involving financial exploitation and Medicaid.

The paper I prepared for the Insitute can be found here, in two parts due to its length – financial-exploitation-of-the-elderly-10-31-08-part-1 and financial-exploitation-of-the-elderly-part-2. My PowerPoint presentation for the Institute can be found here - asset-protection-2-10-31-08.