Reliable Experience In Submitting Medicaid Applications
The cost of long-term care at a nursing home is expensive — $350 to $450 per day ( between $10,500 and $13,500 per day) in northern New Jersey. At those rates, it does not take long for a lifetime of savings to be wiped out. Medicaid has specific guidelines that must be met in terms of income and asset ownership before a person can qualify for benefits. The application process requires you to submit a great deal of information.
If you are organized, and if you keep good records, you can apply for Medicaid benefits by yourself. Good Medicaid planning requires you to have five years of statements for every bank and brokerage account on which the applicant’s name appears, individually or jointly with someone else, whether the account is still open or has been closed. Many other documents are also needed. We recommend that our clients THINK AHEAD. PLAN AHEAD. ACT NOW! by maintaining records now so that there is no need to scurry around assembling documents when a Medicaid application is being prepared. Some banks are charging $5.00 per month to provide statements. Others are charging as much as $5.00 per page. Even though only one or two pages of bank statements have relevant information, Medicaid requires that all pages be submitted.
The social worker at a nursing home may offer to submit the application for an applicant without charge. Although social workers may know a great deal about Medicaid he or she is not likely to have enough information about recent changes in the Medicaid law to suggest how Medicaid regulations can offer significant opportunities to take advantage of exceptions to the Medicaid law that benefit the applicant and not the nursing home. You can’t expect the social worker to advise you on how to save money at the expense of his or her employer. Sometimes, nursing homes refer residents and their families to companies that submit Medicaid applications. These companies are not permitted to give legal advice where an attorney is not involved. In other words, the Medicaid applicant pays someone to prepare an application, but the preparer does not provide legal advice as to how best to take advantage of the Medicaid laws.
You are better off consulting with a qualified elder law attorney sooner rather than later. At the New Jersey law offices of Rudolph & Bloodgood, LLC, we can interpret and help you understand the law. If you wait, you may lose out on steps available to preserve your assets or your parents’ assets.
Applications Are Reviewed Thoroughly
Applications for Medicaid nursing home benefits are carefully reviewed and require extensive documentation. In addition to the requirement of providing five years of financial records, the applicant must provide a written explanation of every transaction of $2,000 or more with backup documentation. This can be very daunting. If transactions cannot be explained, you run the risk of having a penalty period of ineligibility imposed, even though there is often a way to deal with such transactions.
If you have established trusts or used other estate planning strategies, such as transfers of assets to family members, the transfers will be viewed with skepticism and will be rejected if not done correctly.
Our knowledge and extensive experience with both elder law and estate planning allow us to advocate on your behalf in support of your application. This process takes months. It requires extensive knowledge of Medicaid law and familiarity with the screening strategies that Medicaid officials employ.
Put Our Experience To Work For You
If you are like so many people who don’t like filling out multiple-page forms, gathering numerous required documents and preparing the necessary spreadsheets, we will do it all for you. We will put everything into a well-organized, indexed loose-leaf binder so it is easy for the Medicaid caseworker to review your application.
To schedule your initial consultation with one of our attorneys, contact us online or call 973-208-2900. Our Riverdale office is handicap-accessible and has adequate off-street parking. We are available during regular business hours and are convenient to New Jersey Route 23 and Route I-287.