Veterans On Waiver Programs Get Larger Personal Allowance

On June 18, 2012, Judge Sandra Beck of the US District Court for the Southern District of Ohio sided with a group of  Veterans Affairs (VA) pension recipients in Ledford, et al., vs. Michael B. Colbert, director, Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Case No. 1:10-cv-706.

Judge Beck  found that the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) violated federal law by not providing recipients of the Medicaid assisted living waiver a $90 Personal Needs Allowance (PNA) in the patient liability calculation of their Medicaid budget when the individual is a recipient of VA Aid and Attendance benefits.

The court certified the class, granted plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment, entered an injunction prohibiting ODJFS from counting the first $90 of VA aid and attendance benefits when calculating patient liability under all HCBS Medicaid waiver programs, and issued a declaratory judgment.  Pro Seniors brought this case on behalf of the class of plaintiffs.  Historically, ODJFS has disregarded the first $90 of aid and attendance benefits for VA recipients in nursing facilities effectively giving them  $90 as a PNA while similar treatment had been denied to veterans participating in waiver programs. As of this publication date, we do not know if ODJFS intends to appeal the decision or if the class members will receive damages awards.

You can find a copy of the decision here —> Ledford Decision

For more information on the Ledford decision or related issues, please feel free to contact Martha Sweterlitsch or any member of our health care practice group for a further discussion.

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