Estate Planning

What is ALTCS eligibility and how does it relate to estate planning


ALTCS stands for Arizona Long-Term Care System. It’s a program designed to help disabled people and individuals who are over the age of 65. The program works to help individuals who need ongoing support and care with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating. As well as medical services and other necessary support.

ALTCS provides different services including home and community-based services, assisted living services, and nursing home care. To be eligible for this program, an individual must be ready to meet the financial and medical criteria. After enrolling in the program, individuals get a care plan that is designed to meet their needs according to their situation and preferences. The care plan may include a wide range of services including skilled nursing care, personal care, therapy services, medical equipment and supplies, support services, and transportation.

ALTCS aims to provide aged individuals with the care and support they need to live well in their homes or care facilities while also contributing to reducing the cost of long-term care.

Who is Eligible for ALTCS Benefits in 2024?

An individual must meet the medical and financial eligibility criteria to be eligible for ALTCS.

Medical Eligibility (2024)

  • The individual must be a resident of Arizona
  • The individual must be age 65 or above, disabled or blind
  • The individual must meet the functional eligibility criteria which requires that they need help with two activities of daily living such as dressing, eating, toileting, or continence.
  • Or the individual must have a medical condition that requires the presence of a nurse.

Financial Eligibility (2024):

  • The individual must meet the income and asset requirements set by the state of Arizona.
  • The monthly income limit for single individuals is $2,829 and the asset limit is $2,000.
  • The monthly income limit for married couples is $5,658 and the asset limit is $4,000.
  • Certain assets like a primary residence, personal belongings, and a vehicle are not part of the asset limit.

What if the value of my assets is higher than the ALTCS asset limit?

If your assets are more than the ALTCS limit, this is where estate planning comes in. You may have to work closely with an estate planning lawyer to avoid making costly mistakes.

You have different options to resolve this problem.

  • Spend down your assets

One way to spend down your assets is to spend it on care-related expenses. Do that until you’re able to reach the asset limit. This could be in the form of paying medical expenses. Other expenses you could spend include home modifications, paying off debts, etc.

  • Asset transfers

You could consider transferring your assets to your family members or your spouse. However, this can be a delicate process as there are rules about asset transfers, and going against these rules could lead to a period of Medicaid ineligibility.

  • Establish a Miller Trust (Income-Only Trust)

Setting up a Miller Trust is another option if your income is too high for ALTCS eligibility. This type of trust enables you to deposit your excess income into the trust which can then be used to cover your long-term care expenses.

  • Consult an elder law attorney

The ALTCS application process can be complicated and challenging, however, an experienced elder law attorney can walk you through the process and explore your options to preserve your assets.


Applying for the ALTCS may require you to consult with a law firm to help you understand the rules and requirements. You need to work with an estate planning lawyer to ensure a smooth application process.

At Citadel Law Firm, we’re here to provide the best legal service and ensure you have the best lawyers by your side to guarantee your peace of mind.

Contact us today to learn more about our services!