Questions? (800) 686-0440

Nicole Hawks

Nicole's Blogs

What is a "Bona Fide Need" under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act?

While much attention has been focused on the enactment of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the earlier-adopted Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “FFCRA”) went into effect on April 1, 2020. The FFCRA requires employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to the COVID-10 pandemic. One of FFCRA’s “qualifying reasons” is where an employee is unable to work (or telework) because of the need to care for a son or daughter whose school or place of care is closed or unavailable due to COVID-19 precautions. Though the FFCRA does not use the language “bona fide need,” subsequent guidance from the Department of Labor has used the term to state that employees are eligible for this expanded benefit if they are unable to work due to a “bona fide need” for leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable due to COVID-19. So what is a “bona fide need”? 
Read More

COVID-19 and Estate Planning: The Importance of Having an Updated Plan in Place

COVID-19 has us all thinking differently. Last month, we were going about our day-to-day lives focusing on our work, projects, community involvement, parties, gatherings, and vacation-planning, to name a few. Now, the focus has completely shifted to our health,  financial, and mental well-being.  One question that comes to mind-if I or my family member gets sick, do we have a good estate plan in place to protect our family?  Unfortunately, setting up an estate plan is one of those items that we tend to put off.  It’s been on the yearly to-do list for years and years but we just haven’t gotten around to it.  Well, now is the time to get around to it.
Read More

COVID-19 and Nursing Homes

Early on, the current pandemic crisis hit many of America’s nursing homes and long-term care communities hard. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) has issued a preparedness checklist for all such facilities.
Read More

The Truth about the Medicaid Spend-Down: You Don’t need to “Lose” all of Your Assets to the Rest Home

Looking to protect your assets as you age? It is never too late (or too early!) to start planning. Whether you are being proactive as you enter retirement or are responding to a crisis (such as a fall, stroke, or diagnosis), there is planning that can be done to help PROTECT your hard-earned assets.
Read More

Medicare Rates—What You Need to Know to Avoid Overpayment

Did you know there are income brackets for Medicare? There are, and the brackets are NOT identical to income tax brackets. Attorney Nicole Hawks shares insights into the Medicare bracket system and strategies for avoiding a bump into a higher bracket for both single and married seniors.
Read More

The Importance of Updating a Will After Marriage

Almost everyone knows (or has heard) of the importance of having (at least) a will in place. It is a simple estate planning document, but is extremely important to make sure your wishes are carried out after your passing.
Read More

Notable Changes to the VA Pension Benefit

Massive changes to the rules and regulations relating to certain VA pension benefits were implemented on October 18, 2018. The affected VA pension benefits are commonly known as the "Aid and Attendance" benefits.
Read More

« Back to Authors