Applying for Medicaid: An Elder Law Attorney Can Help

Applying for Medicaid is quite a complex process, as the questions being asked within the application have great depth and implications for your future. The foundation system responsible for asking the questions that define your eligibility for Medicaid purposely selects specific diction and word choice which may make it challenging for elderly individuals to effectively answer the questions. Considering that these questions are the main defining factor when it comes to obtaining Medicaid coverage, family members should seek guidance from an experienced Elder Law Attorney to guide them through this imperative process. The attorney is quite familiar with your state’s rules when it comes to long-term care planning and receiving government benefits.The Elder Care Attorney will use her experience in the field to devise the most effective plan in assisting the family by selecting strategies that align with the family’s personal and financial circumstances.

Enhancing Medicaid Eligibility by hiring an Elder Care Attorney

What are some of the advantages in hiring an Elder Care Attorney when Applying for Medicaid?

Advantage #1:Avoiding Penalties

There are numerous benefits in hiring an esteemed Elder Care Attorney, as the lawyer has much experience in the field and will be able to answer all of your questions concerning the Medicaid application process. Hiring an attorney guarantees that you will be able to avoid Medicaid penalties, which are very common in individuals who attempt to complete the Medicaid application without the aid of an attorney. There are numerous questions that seek to identify if the applicant has made any disqualifying transfers that would result in a penalty. The most common question that correlates to the Medicaid penalty prospect is the prompt asking if the applicant has made any gifts or transfers for less than fair market value within the last 5 years. If you hire an Elder Care Attorney, the lawyer will ensure that you do not have any penalties that would prevent you from obtaining the Medicaid benefits you deserve. The attorney will be well aware of any of the exceptions that will prevent you from earning a penalty and will therefore assist you in the process of qualifying for Medicaid. Hiring an Elder Care Attorney enhances the probability that your application is approved, therefore increasing your chances of obtaining Medicaid coverage.

Advantage #2: Effective Spend-Down Process Plans

In order to qualify for Medicaid many married couples must participate in the Spend-Down process, which pertains to the prospects of saving assets when only one spouse needs Medicaid. The purpose of this process is to ensure that the individual in need of long-term care receives the aid they need, while also guaranteeing that their spouse has the financial means of remaining in their home and covering the cost of all their living expenses. An Elder Care Attorney may assist in creating a personal care agreement that enables the senior to provide monetary compensation towards their family caregiver, while also participating in the Spend-Down process. Additionally, the attorney can aid in renaming bank accounts and real estate titles in the effort to enhance the applicant’s eligibility for Medicaid. In order to receive Medicaid long-term care benefits the spouse inhabiting the nursing home may have up to $2,000 while the community spouse may have up to $128,640 according to 2020 data.Therefore, hiring an esteemed Elder Care Attorney can assist you in the Medicaid Planning process associated with qualifying for Medicaid coverage.

What is the Medicaid Lookback Period and how does it impact my Eligibility for coverage?

A Medicaid Lookback is imperative in relation to Financial Eligibility for Medicaid. This means that if a lookback is required for a specific service, then the medicaid applicant is required to present all financial records pertaining to the applicant and their spouse during the lookback period. The typical lookback period for nursing homes is estimated to be around 5 years. The Human Resource Administration (HRA) is responsible for reviewing the lookback documents and checking the transfer of assets, especially in identifying transfers for less than the fair market value by the applicant or spouse during this period. Based on current NY State laws, nursing homes are required to do a lookback to admit applicants for care. The lookback will  be required for people who are in the Medicaid Buy-In for Working People with Disabilities. Applicants who have an income that is below the income bracket of $895 as a single individual or $1304 for a couple will not be required to partake in the lookback process. It is important that you avoid giving away or selling assets below the fair market price, as this could jeopardize your eligibility for Medicaid coverage. The Elder Care Attorney must be fully aware of all the transactions made during this 5 year period to ensure that you avoid any penalties that would delay the rate at which you would qualify for coverage.

What procedure will the Elder Care Attorney follow when assisting me in the Medicaid eligibility process?

When consulting an Elder Care Attorney for the purpose of Medicaid Planning, the attorney will begin by asking you about your assets and income. In order to effectively decide when is the best moment to apply for Medicaid coverage, the attorney must be aware of your personal financial situation. The attorney will ask you how your home, bank accounts, and other assets are titled. You will be asked to state all of the transfers you have made within the last 5 years in the effort to create a plan that avoids the often lengthy Spend-Down process. Although hiring an Elder Care attorney can be quite costly, it is certainly worth the price. The attorney will provide guidance in the process of filling out all of the paperwork, as well as outline the next steps when filling out the Medicaid eligibility application. It is imperative that you do not wait until Medicaid coverage becomes an urgent matter, for it will be extremely challenging to obtain financial aid in such a short time period. This process is quite lengthy and requires planning to guarantee the best outcome, thus it is encouraged that you initiate the Medicaid Planning process as soon as possible and select an attorney you trust.

For further Medicaid eligibility information please contact the Law Office of Inna Fershteyn at 718-333-2394 to effectively complete the Medicaid Application.