Can You Rely on Information Provided by the Government?

June 3, 2005

A recent Court decision demonstrates the disastrous consequences that can occur as the result of misinformation by a Medicaid Caseworker.

In that case, the Medicaid applicant was in a nursing home and the grandson met with the Medicaid caseworker to discuss the grandmother's legal options to protect her family home. The caseworker advised the son that as long as the grandmother signed a letter stating that she intended to return home, it would be protected.

This advice was not correct. The family home was only temporarily protected while the grandmother was still alive. Once the grandmother died, the Medicaid Agency filed an Estate recovery claim against the grandmother's estate and the family lost the home.

The Supreme Court of Wyoming upheld the Medicaid Agency's recovery of the home. The Court held that the Medicaid Caseworker's mistake did not rise to the level of "affirmative misconduct" because it was an honest mistake and not a deliberate intent to deceive.

The Medicaid Laws are very complex. There are actually multiple layers of federal and state laws, regulations, Court cases, Administrative Fair Hearing decisions and Agency manuals. As a result misinformation is often provided to families causing them to lose substantial assets. You can protect your home and savings.

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