COPES stands for Community Options Program Entry System. COPES is a Washington State Medicaid program that pays for services to help people who would otherwise need to live in a nursing home. The program is designed to allow individuals who require Long-Term Care to receive the necessary care while residing in their homes or other community living environments.
To be eligible for COPES you must be financially eligible and you must need help with certain activities of daily living due to physical or cognitive disability.
To meet the COPES requirement for assistance with activities of daily living, you must need extensive help with two or more of the listed activities, or at least some help with three or more. The listed activities of daily living are eating, bathing, transfer (moving from bed to chair), bed mobility, locomotion, using the toilet, and medication management.
To meet the financial eligibility standards of COPES, your income and resources must be within set limits. With few exceptions, eligibility for COPES is determined under the same standards as eligibility for Medicaid. Medicaid coverage is for people who require Long-Term Care in a skilled nursing facility. COPES, an alternative to traditional Medicaid, is for people requiring Long-Term Care who will remain living in their home or in a community living environment, such as an assisted living facility.
To review the Washington State Medicaid income and resource eligibility standards, updated as of April 1, 2017, click here. Note that the standards are different depending on whether you are single or married. Also, some assets (resources) are considered “exempt,” which means they do not count toward the resource limit.
Medicaid and COPES eligibility standards are complex and confusing. The experienced attorneys of Elder Law Group PLLC know the ins and outs of the COPES program and Washington Medicaid Law. We can help you or a loved one become eligible for Medicaid and other government benefits.
We invite you to contact us or call (509) 468-0551 (Spokane office), or (509) 579-0206 (Tri-Cities office), for guidance on your options and assistance in creating a Long-Term Care plan that is best for you and your family.