When filing a Medicaid application for yourself or a loved one it is in your best interest to seek professional help with this process from an elder law attorney. The New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) highlights the reasons why this is so important in their informational pamphlet titled Why Your Medicaid Application Should Be Entrusted to an Elder Law Attorney. They explain that the process of applying for Medicaid benefits can be complex and confusing and involves legal advice that only a lawyer can provide. There are various programs offered under Medicaid and each program may have different eligibility rules and application processes. Elder law attorneys are knowledgeable in every facet of the Medicaid eligibility and application process. The NYSBA advises applicants to be wary of non-attorneys who offer to help them fill out the Medicaid application for free or at a low cost. NYSBA provides three case examples of families who entrusted the application process to someone other than an elder law attorney and each of these cases had unfortunate outcomes. Unlike other professionals, elder law attorneys have an ethical responsibility to ensure you are FULLY informed and will answer all of your questions honestly. NYSBA warns of the following risks when failing to use an elder law attorney:
- Failure to be fully informed of spousal rights;
- Failure to be informed of opportunities for asset protection
- Incomplete or inaccurate application submission;
- Denial of application due to failure to provide information;
- Failure to be informed of consequences of prior actions;
- Imposition of a penalty period for which mitigation strategies could have been implemented;
- Failure to have a dedicated advocate working with you through the process.
For more information the NYSBA pamphlet can be viewed HERE: Elder Law Medicaid_Brochure fall2013.
At Tully Law, PC we have been helping Long Islanders become eligible and obtain Medicaid benefits for years. Please call the office at (631) 424-2800 to learn more.