Many seniors and their families typically handle their Medicaid applications independently, bypassing the assistance of an attorney/ a lawyer.
Although it’s not mandatory to involve legal counsel, opting for their services offers various advantages.
The reluctance among seniors to seek legal aid often stems from concerns about the associated costs.
Contrary to this apprehension, having an attorney can actually lead to significant savings for your family while ensuring you receive the necessary care.
What Is Medicaid and When Do You Apply for It?
Medicaid is government health coverage for healthcare costs not covered by Medicare.
Eligibility is based on income, status, age, and assets.
Requirements vary by state and include low-income families, pregnant women, and Social Security Income recipients.
What Happens to Your Asset When You Apply for Medicaid?
Medicaid eligibility requires limited income and assets, around $2,000 for individuals and $3,000 for married couples.
While homes are usually safe from sale during the application, the state may claim the house after the recipient’s passing.
Protecting non-exempt assets before applying is crucial to retaining them.
The Benefits of Hiring an Attorney When Filing for Medicaid
If you are applying for Medicaid, it could prove beneficial to use an attorney.
Elder law attorneys understand how the application process works, what factors the government considers, and they make the process easier.
All it takes is a missed document or error on your application to receive a denial, and the longer you delay unlocking the benefits, the harder it is on your family financially.
Some benefits to using an attorney versus doing it yourself or having a family member apply for you are:
Attorney’s Do Not Have a Conflict of Interest
Nursing homes may recommend Medicaid application services, but these services, despite good intentions, can have conflicts of interest due to loyalty to both the facility and the patient.
This conflict can complicate Medicaid applications.
While nursing homes want approval for financial reasons, it’s crucial for individuals to safeguard assets.
Unlike these services, an attorney prioritizes the client’s interests, working to protect assets and guide through the Medicaid process effectively.
You Could Save More Using an Attorney
Nursing homes are expensive, often costing more than hiring an attorney to assist with Medicaid application.
Consulting with an attorney is cost-effective compared to paying for a nursing home while waiting for Medicaid benefits.
Attorneys offer free consultations, explaining rights and the benefits of their services for Medicaid applications.
Attorney’s Have Deeper Knowledge of the Medicaid Process and Experience Applying
You will apply for Medicaid once in your lifetime – maybe twice if you help a family member apply.
Attorneys help individuals apply for Medicaid weekly.
They go over the regulations and rules almost daily, advise clients on how to protect assets, and they can help family members preserve funds for loved ones while accessing Medicaid benefits.
Added Peace of Mind
When you use an elder law attorney, your attorney will advise you on your rights and your options for protecting your assets.
Sometimes, there might be nothing you can do to protect your assets, but you still get peace of mind knowing you did everything you could ahead of time before filing your application.