Summer is gone. September is all but over. So, that can only mean one thing: Oktoberfest! Oktoberfest will take place at the State Pier in New Bedford on Saturday, October 4th. There will be plenty of local microbreweries on tap (pun completely intended) bringing their unique autumn flavored ales and beers. Of course, there will be food thanks to No Problemo, Ma Raffa's, the Oxford Creamery and O'Crepe's. As with all festivals, there will be plenty of talent and entertainment and dancing!
Tickets are $15 per person and can be purchase online by clicking here. For more information on Oktoberfest, click here. Because alcohol is served, you must be 21 years or older to attend so bring your ID and if you are carded, take it as a compliment!
It is no secret how much I love my dogs, Sabina and Pierre. They are the furry members of my family and we spoil them like babies! We dress them up, get them groomed and buy them special treats. And by treats, I don't mean Milk Bones from the supermarket. Oh no. We go to "Pretty Paws Bakery" on 54 Main Street in Fairhaven, MA or at their new location at 331A State Road in Dartmouth. You will not see ho-hum biscuits either. They have chicken pot pies, corgi cannolis, special occasion cakes and gift certificates. You can also order treats by visiting their website and be sure to friend them on Facebook!
By Atty. Brandon C. Walecka, Esq., LL.M.
Q&A Series is a collection of frequently asked questions that we often hear from clients. It provides brief answers to many common questions about estate planning, Medicaid planning, special needs planning and other elder law issues. Interested in learning more? Search “Q&A”.
Will Medicaid (MassHealth in Massachusetts) look at every check I write?
We are often asked, "Will Medicaid look at every check I write when I'm applying for benefits?" When attempting to answer this question, I first try to educate the client on the basics of Medicaid eligibility and the look-back rules.
What are the long-term (nursing home) Medicaid eligibility rules?
An individual who is living in a skilled nursing facility as a long-term care resident can apply for Long-Term (nursing home) MassHealth benefits to pay for care. In order to qualify for long-term MassHealth, the individual must have less than $2,000 in countable assets. Countable assets are all assets except:
Home (primary residence worth less than $828,000 in 2016);
Prepaid funeral (any amount);
Burial account (up to $1,500); and
Life insurance with a face value of $1,500 or less.
If the applicant is married, MassHealth considers the assets of both spouses. The community spouse is currently allowed to keep all of the first $120,900 in countable assets (in 2017). This amount changes almost every year. If there are excess assets, we work with clients to appropriately spend down within the rules. Details on spend down strategies are discussed in other blog posts.
Regarding income, once approved, the applicant must pay to the nursing home each month an amount known as the “patient paid amount” or “PPA”. The PPA is equal to the applicant’s gross income less:
$72.80 for personal needs (in 2017);
Any amount paid for health insurance. For example: the Medicare part B $104.90 premium (in 2016) taken from the social security check and/or the amount paid by the applicant for a Medicare supplemental plan such as Blue Cross/Blue Shield Medex bronze; and
Any amount the community spouse (the spouse who lives at home) is allowed to keep to meet the Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance (MMMNA). The MMMNA is a minimum amount of income the state believes a community spouse needs to live independently in the community. The MMMNA is currently $2,002.50 (in 2017). This amount changes each year.
Lightly grease a 10x10 inch baking dish and place the cubed bread evenly throughout dish, and set aside.
In a large deep skillet, cover the bottom of pan with some olive oil and in medium/high heat, sauté the onions and sausage until onions are translucent, season with salt and pepper to taste. Drain off extra grease if needed and then layer over the cubed bread. Then spread the shredded cheese over the top and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat together really well the eggs, milk, salt and pepper and pour over everything. Make sure that you press down on the bread, to help it absorb the egg mixture.
Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours or best overnight.
The next morning:
Preheat the oven at 350 degrees F and remove baking dish from refrigerator at least 15 minutes before baking. Bake 50-60 min depending on oven or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let it cool off for a few minutes before serving... Enjoy!!
Recipe courtesy of Maria, Lawton, the Azorean Green Bean. All rights reserved.
Sometimes it is the simple things in life that bring us the most joy. Nothing makes my kids happier than when I ask, "Who wants to go pick up some corn at the farm?". And by "farm" they know that I mean Alderbrook Farm on 1213 Russells Mills Road in Dartmouth. Family owned and operated, it's open year round. I can always count on them for farm fresh eggs, cheese, veggies and fruits in the summer and of course, my favorite: Morning Glory Coffee Syrup! Also, on the farm they sell bird houses, bird food, locally made beeswax candles and pies. And just like in a bygone era, payment is cash only and is done on the honor system because the family is out working in the fields or with the animals. Speaking of animals, my kids love the farm because it is like a petting zoo! You can either see them in the barn or in the fenced in fields. They have a beautiful peacock named Argus, pygmy goats, sheep, pot bellied pigs, two of the world's most friendly donkeys and horses. That being said, just stay away from the Canadian Goose, he's a bit ornery! If you walk down the lane you will see a huge coop of chickens (but please don't feed them because they have a special diet), a pig sty filled with very curious pigs and a disc swing. The disc swing is a favorite with the kids because because it can go in any direction! Hope to see down on the farm someday! They are open daily from 5:00 am (yes, "am" as in morning) until 5:30 pm and can be reached by phone at 508-636-4562. They do have a small parking lot for your convenience. Show them your support of local farms by liking and following them on Facebook by clicking here!