In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson, Illinois and Missouri Elder Law attorney, discusses the if you should let the nursing home file your Medicaid application, and when you need help from an elder law attorney.
Hi, I’m Wes Coulson from Dent-Coulson Elder Law with offices in the Westport Plaza area in St. Louis and also near St. Elizabeth’s hospital in O’Fallon, Illinois and this is your Elder Law Minute. A question that we get quite a bit is, “Nursing homes offered to help me file a Medicaid application or just fill it out for me. Should we let them do that?” You may not be surprised to hear me say, “Well, it depends.” What’s it depend on?
The main thing we are looking for is whether there’s anything about that situation that could be a problem. If there is, you really need to have an elder law attorney to deal with it. If somebody has just gone completely broke or was broke to start with and hasn’t made any asset transfers – By that we mean gifts of money, gifts of property, adding somebody else’s name onto a house or something within 5 years, then yes, the nursing home can probably take care of that for you because there’s really nothing there to look at.
But if there is anything that might cause a question, that might cause a denial, that might cause a delay in eligibility, if you’ve done any planning to protect assets, if there have been things that you’re not sure whether they’re going to treat as a transfer or not, if their is still money left beyond the Medicaid asset limit, then you really need to have an elder law attorney help you. Because, either number 1: there was an opportunity for planning and you’ve missed and that’s going to cost a lot of money, or worse yet, number 2: if there is a transfer penalty and that Medicaid applicant doesn’t have any money to pay the nursing home, there’s a big problem. Some family problems are going to probably have to come up with the money in that situation. So, maybe, but be really really cautious.
- For more information about Medicaid and Asset Preservation, visit these articles:
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Dent-Coulson Elder Law is dedicated to providing families in the St. Louis area with their Elder Law needs. Our practice areas include Asset Preservation Planning, Veterans Benefits, Medicaid Eligibility, Alzheimer’s Planning, Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning and more. We understand the financial challenges you may face as you and your loved ones grow older. At Dent-Coulson Elder Law, our clients’ well-being is our number one priority. For immediate help, call (618) 632-7000 or (314) 567-9292, or Contact Us and we will get in touch as soon as possible.