Hickman Lowder

We meet the lifetime legal needs of children and adults with disabilities, the elderly, and their families.

The Nursing Home Said I Don’t Need a Lawyer to Apply for Medicaid. What Do I Do?

| Jun 24, 2020 | Medicaid Planning

I work collaboratively with dozens of nursing home and assisted living facilities when clients need to apply for Medicaid. I find facility staff to be some of the most Medicaid-knowledgeable people in the world, but I’ve also seen too many cases where families relied on the facility to guide them through a Medicaid application, and big problems arose.

Applying for Medicaid is not exactly rocket science, but it is fraught with pitfalls and traps that can have devastating financial implications for families.  It would be hard to list all the possible issues that could come up, but at this time, it will take the County at least 60 days to reach a decision regarding a nursing home Medicaid application. With the recent COVID-19 pandemic, some Medicaid applications are still not decided after nearly six months. This means that if something wasn’t completed correctly during the application process, or a bank account was missed or income not correctly calculated, a denial could be issued six months after filing, making the family potentially liable for $50,000 + in nursing home bills.

To avoid complications, like the one above, I encourage anyone going through the Medicaid application process to contact an experienced elder law attorney to see if they can help.  When families contact me, for example, they can expect that I will work collaboratively with the facilities to ensure that the facility’s financial interests are protected, but not at the expense of my clients.  I enjoy taking the burden and anxiety away from families who are already uneasy about placing a loved one in long-term care.  When you aren’t sure where to turn or what to do, make that call – I know you’ll feel better after you do.