Important Elder Law and Estate Planning Numbers for 2010

Under current law, there will be no cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in Social Security in 2010 — the first time that has happened since automatic cost-of-living adjustments began in 1975. Several bills before Congress would grant a special increase in Social Security payments for 2010.

In addition, when no Social Security COLA is provided, Medicare Part B premiums — which are deducted from Social Security checks — are frozen for most beneficiaries so that the Social Security checks do not drop (click here for more information).

Below are figures for 2010 that are frequently used in the elder law practice, including the new Medicaid spousal impoverishment figures, the long-term care insurance deductibility limits, and Medicare premiums and co-pays, and Social Security Figures:  

Medicaid Figures for 2010 

Divestment Penalty Divisor$ 6,654.00 – Northern Virginia (Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William Counties and the Cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas and Manassas Park.)
$ 4,954.00 – All Other
Individual Resource Allowance$ 2,000.00
Monthly Personal Needs Allowance$ 40.00
Minimum Community Spouse Resource Allowance$ 21,912.00
Maximum Community Spouse Resource Allowance$ 109,560.00
Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance$ 1,821.25
Maximum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance$ 2,739.00
Shelter Standard$ 546.38
Standard Utility Allowance$ 141

Estate Tax Exclusion / Exemption Equivalent Amount: 

Unlimited Exemption (Estate Tax Temporarily Repealed for 2010).  Exemption currently set to revert to $1 million in 2011.

 Annual Gift Tax Exclusion: $13,000  

Attained age before the close of the taxable yearMaximum deduction
40 or less$330
More than 40 but not more than 50$620
More than 50 but not more than 60$1,230
More than 60 but not more than 70$3,290
More than 70$4,110
Beneficiaries who file an individual tax return with income:Beneficiaries who file a joint tax return with income:Income-related monthly adjustment amountTotal monthly premium amount
Less than  or equal to $85,000Less than or equal to $170,000$0.00$110.50
Greater than $85,000 and less than or equal to $107,000Greater than $170,000 and less than or equal to $214,000$44.20$154.70
Greater than $107,000 and less than or equal to $160,000Greater than $214,000 and less than or equal to $320,000$110.50$221.00
Greater than $160,000 and less than or equal to $214,000Greater than $320,000 and less than or equal to $428,000$176.80$287.30
Greater than $214,000Greater than $428,000$243.10$353.60

Social Security Figures for 2010

         (Click here for SSA Press Release)
         (Click here for SSA Fact Sheet)

  • Cost of Living Increase: 0 percent 
  • Maximum Taxable Earnings: $106,800   

SSI Federal Payment Standard:  

  • Individual: $674/mo.
  • Couple: $1,011/mo.
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About Evan H Farr, CELA, CAP

Evan H. Farr is a 4-time Best-Selling author in the field of Elder Law and Estate Planning. In addition to being one of approximately 500 Certified Elder Law Attorneys in the Country, Evan is one of approximately 100 members of the Council of Advanced Practitioners of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is a Charter Member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners.