The question of whether or not to let a nursing home representative complete your Medicaid application comes with an answer that depends on a few variables. In certain situations where you have spent down your life savings, you haven’t made any gifts or transfers of assets within the last five years, you aren’t trying to protect anything, then you could have a nursing home representative help you with the application.
However, if you have done planning to protect your assets (or have assets you still want to protect), have made gifts or transfers of assets within five years, have a life savings that hasn’t been spent down, then you should probably get good legal help with filing your Medicaid application.
In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson, Southern Illinois Elder Law attorney, offers insights as to the situations when you can let a nursing home representative complete your Medicaid application and when you shouldn’t.
Should I Let A Nursing Home Representative Complete My Medicaid Application?
Hi, I’m Wes Coulson and this is your Elder Law Minute. Sometimes I’m asked, “Is it okay to just let a nursing home representative assist me in completing and filing a Medicaid application?” My honest answer to that is that is sort of depends.
I want to give you an analogy to a tax return situation. If you’re just filing a short form (attaching a W-2, maybe a couple of 1099s, taking a standard deduction), no you don’t need to hire an accountant to do that. So, if you have spent down all of your life savings, not engaged in any planning to protect anything, and you haven’t made any transfers of assets within five years, then you can go ahead and have a facility representative help you with the application.
But, if you’ve done any sort of planning to protect life savings, or if you’ve made any gifts or transfers of assets within five years, how your application is handled (the skill, the strategy) is going to make a great deal of difference. In those situations, we really suggest to people that you get good legal help in filing and processing your Medicaid application.
If I can put a shout out to a staff member, Jo Jayasimha has been with me for a long number of years and she has become quite an expert in Medicaid applications. Come talk to me, come talk to Jo, we’ll be happy to help. Thanks.
For more information on the Medicaid application process, visit these articles:
- See a Lawyer First: Potential problems can be addressed before a Medicaid application is filed
- What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You: Understanding the Medicaid application process
- What Does The Medicaid Application Cover And Ask For?
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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 (877)995-6876 or Contact Us and we will get in touch as soon as possible.