The Elrod Firm


Nixon’s The One

Richard Nixon lived from January 9, 1913 to April 22, 1994.  He represented the State of California in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1947 to 1950 and served as a Senator from California from 1950 to 1953.  He left the Senate to serve as vice president of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under President Dwight D. Eisenhower.  One of the pivotal moments during Nixon’s first term as vice president occurred in the fall of 1955 when Eisenhower suffered a major heart attack.  Most believed his condition to be life-threatening, and he was out of commission for six weeks.  During that time, though Nixon did not formally hold the powers of the office of president, he essentially ran the country, earning high praise for how he handled the crisis.

Nixon’s rise to power culminated with his election as the 37th president of the United States in the election of 1968.  He served from 1969 until his resignation in 1974, facing almost certain impeachment and removal from office.  He was the first, and still only, president to ever resign from office.  The month following Nixon’s resignation, his successor, President Gerald Ford, granted him a full pardon for his alleged involvement in the Watergate scandal that led to his decision to step down.

In the years that followed, Nixon worked to rehabilitate his image.  He published ten books during his retirement, accepted regular speaking engagements, traveled extensively, and continued meeting with foreign leaders. 

In the spring of 1992, on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” news program, it was reported that former-President Richard Nixon was making another run at the presidency on the Republican ticket.  The report included audio clips of Nixon’s announcement in which he declared, “I never did anything wrong, and I won’t do it again.”  Harvard professor Laurence Tribe joined reporter Howard Fineman on the report to discuss Nixon’s unexpected announcement.  The press secretary for the Bush-Quayle campaign also commented on the shocking news.

It was later reported that calls from listeners flooded NPR, with the general response being one of outrage.  I wonder, if you had known this report hit the airwaves on April 1, 1992, would you have been among the callers to express shock over the report?  Or would you have quickly recognized it as one of the best April Fool’s Day hoaxes of all time?

These days, we all must be diligent to apply an appropriate dose of skepticism to everything we see, hear, and read (whether it’s April Fool’s Day or not).  As Abe Lincoln once said, “Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet.”  In no area is this more true than that of long-term care benefits planning.  When it comes to Medicare, Medicaid, Veteran’s Benefits, and other methods of paying for long-term care like nursing homes, assisted living, and home caregivers, there may be more misinformation out there than facts you can actually rely and act on.

I cannot tell you how many veterans I have met who elected not to file for the VA Aid and Attendance benefit, which is designed to offset the high costs of long-term care for qualifying veterans, because they were told they had to be injured in the line of duty to be a candidate for the benefit.  That is just flat wrong.  Or how many clients I helped obtain Medicaid benefits to cover their nursing home costs after they were told they could not qualify because their monthly income was too high.  Even worse are the cases in which families spend every penny they have on care before even looking into the benefits designed to help them, believing that’s what they had to do to qualify, when so much could have been saved if they had acted sooner.

Long-term care is expensive, and long-term care benefits are complicated.  There is too much at stake to try to figure things out on your own.  Don’t rely exclusively on what you read on the internet.  Don’t turn to a well-meaning neighbor who recently dealt with a similar situation with an in-law.  Don’t even look to professionals in other fields who don’t specialize in long-term care benefits.  When your family faces the prospect of expensive long-term care, turn to an elder law attorney who specializes in long-term care benefits.  Get the right information, explore every option, make the best decisions.  If you don’t, the outcome could be much worse than the embarrassment that comes with falling for an April Fool’s Day hoax.

To learn more about long-term care benefits, and to leave a comment or question for me, visit my website at  We’re here to help.

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