T he Allsup True Help Disability Web Expo will offer free online xpert advice and resources on disability matters, live on Sept.
27, and available until Dec. 26. Register at: WebExpo.Allsup.com.
Martin Shenkman, an attorney with experience in planning for
a life with MS, leads a series of webinars for financial professionals
in his RV4TheCause series, live from his Airstream trailer while
on the road with his wife, Patti. For more information, go to
To read more on the topic, check out Shenkman’s book, Estate
Planning for People with a Chronic Condition or Disability,
or the National MS Society’s Adapting: Financial Planning for a
Life with Multiple Sclerosis guidebook.
For help finding specific financial or legal resources, call an MS
Navigator® at 1-800-344-4867.
must you be deemed disabled,
but your assets can’t be greater
than $2,000 (or $3,000 for
a couple). The same goes for
Medicaid—at least until 2014,
when the Medicaid “asset test”
would end, a result of the
Affordable Care Act legislation.
Until then, many private
individual plans will deny
you based on a pre-existing
condition, Bell says. However,
he notes that some federal and
state-based options may be
available, though these usually
carry high premiums and
deductibles. Obtaining accurate
and up-to-date information
about health, disability and life
insurance can be crucial. Call
the National MS Society for
information and counseling
on health and other insurance
benefits at 1-800-344-4867, or
visit www.healthcare.gov or
Estate planning isn’t just for
the rich, and it plays a critical
role in protecting any assets you
have while you’re alive, as well
as directing where they go after
your death, says estate planning
attorney Martin Shenkman
of Paramus, N.J., who began
specializing in helping clients
with MS after his wife was
diagnosed in 2006.
Like Kevin, many people
with MS move assets out of their
name by putting them into a
trust, such as a Supplemental
Needs Trust. “I’m not trying to
beat the system,” his wife, Eileen,
says. “I have a little bit of savings,
but once he needs care 24/7,
I’ll go through that money in a
year.” Be aware that Medicaid
and other government benefits
that have low-asset thresholds
will consider any assets you’ve
had for the last five years.
Kelly Pate Dwyer is a freelance writer
in Denver. She writes about personal
finance, health and nutrition.