Applying for Medicaid Without an Attorney - Part Four

July 12, 2010

This edition of the Koldin Report E-Newsletter continues our series reviewing the risks you take when applying for Medicaid without being represented by an Attorney. All prior newsletters are saved on our website can be found by clicking here.

In this fourth edition of this series, we will review how even after you spend away your life savings, you can still be denied Medicaid coverage because of something you did four years ago.

We recently received an email from a daughter to tell us about her mother:

Mother was in a nursing home and had life savings of $200,000. She was told that it was too late to protect any of her savings so she spent all of it toward the cost of her care over a two year period beginning in February, 2008 through March, 2010.

Back in mid February, 2006, two years before she required Nursing Home care, Mother needed daughter to assist her so she purchased an automobile in her daughter's name. Daughter used the car for four years to run errands for Mother and to drive Mother to various places.

Daughter applied for Medicaid for her mother in March 2010 after they spent the entire $200,000 toward the nursing home bills. The Medicaid caseworker told daughter that the case would probably be denied because the purchase of the car four years ago, when her Mother wasn't even in the Nursing Home, would likely be considered an improper transfer to the daughter.

With proper legal advice, the family could have saved approximately half of the $200,000 and the automobile. Instead, they lost their entire life savings and may still be ineligible to receive Medicaid. Had the family done advanced estate planning before the Mother's illness occurred, they could have saved everything.

The point of this example is to show that when people do not know their legal rights, they assume that since they are already in a Nursing home, it is too late and they spend away their life savings. This is not true. It is never too late.

When the Koldin Law Center, P.C. handles a Medicaid case, we handle much more than just the application process. We review with our clients the proper steps to protect their assets beyond merely establishing Medicaid eligibility. There is something you can do.