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My friend is 58 with vascular dementia, she gets 1300.00 from SS disability & 1800.00 from her disability from her work place. Every dime goes to the assisted living home & her co-pays for medicine plus Dr copays. I am her POA & wondering if I should sign her up for Medicare part d. She is on medicare part a & b but the prescription copays are ridiculous. She has gone through all her stocks she had & are selling her house through a short sale. That is all the income she has & both are taxed each month. She also has cigna from work but it doesn't pay hardly anything, medicare either. I am at wit's end on this. My husband & I have forked out our savings to help her cause I know she would for me but we have no more money. I was told by a tax lady that since she is on medicare I can't claim anything myself to get any of our money back. This is so wrong. I buy all her drinks, groceries, clothes & anything else she needs. Please tell me what to do! What kind of attorney do I contact & is it expensive? I just don't have it to dish out.
Need help in McKenney, VA

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You probably need at least one eldercare law consultation. That might be only a few hundred dollars, and you've shelled our way more than that already. Pick one with expertise in Medicaid as well as Medicare. In a complex case like this, you almost can't afford NOT to get that consultation. If you have the basic lay of the land, you can then use life care and estate planners, being careful they are not just outgo sell you one company's product that may not be tailored to what you and your friend actually need. The $4100 a month total income might put your friend in Miller trust territory, and you won't be able to get tax breaks unless your friend is a registered 501 c 3 charity 😉 ...we don't even get any breaks for my adult daughters medical bills either. You'd think you could claim her as a dependent but you have to be providing half or more of her support...
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Your best bet is to contact an Elder Law attorney to work whatever your friend's needs are, but would your friend be able to attend the meeting and understand what the attorney was saying? Do you have Power of Attorney? If not, who does, if anyone? That person should be doing the leg work with the attorney.

To find an Elder Law Attorney, go to the blue bar at the top of this page and click on MONEY & LEGAL.. now click on Elder Law... a blue box will pop up where you can put in your friend's zip code. Hopefully you will see a list of Elder Law attorneys... that is how I found mine here in northern Virginia. Usually the first half hour is free, but check first.
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Has she thought about a Medicare Advantage program that has all the Medicaid parts rolled into it? I do think seniors need Part D to help with prescription drug costs. I don't know what we would do without it -- drugs are so expensive. If she has a copay on medications, I am surprised she does not already have Part D. Does she have other insurance that covers the medication? The best way I know to save on medication is to take the generic if one is available. The brand name drugs are so expensive.

What part of VA does she live in. The area around DC is expensive, but other areas should be affordable on $3100. It sounds like she needs to get with a financial counselor to help her get things set up. Do you think she is living beyond her means, or are medical costs taking too much? How old is she? Should she be paying tax on her disability? I don't know how that works.
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