If you or a loved one needs Medicaid for paying for a nursing home, you may be tempted to save money and fill out the application yourself. After all, there is no legal requirement that an attorney prepare the Medicaid application. Many people do not see the value in hiring an attorney to help with the process.
However, the rules regarding Medicaid applications are complicated. Unfortunately, if an application is completed and the applicant does not know the rules about Medicaid and the Medicaid application process, he or she could be penalized by being denied Medicaid for a period of time. This means the applicant must pay for the nursing home from his or her own funds.
To receive Medicaid in order to pay for a nursing home, an applicant can only have a certain amount of assets and income. This varies depending on whether the applicant is married or single. Some people who choose to do Medicaid planning for themselves will transfer assets to loved ones in order to qualify.
However, Medicaid imposes a “look back period” of five years, which means that any assets that were transferred for less than fair market value in the previous five years may result in a penalty period during which the applicant doesn’t qualify for Medicaid.
There are ways to make asset transfers and to still qualify for Medicaid. There are also certain assets that applicants can own but may still qualify for Medicaid. The rules are complicated, and it’s highly recommended that you consult with a New York Elder Law Attorney before completing the Medicaid application.
If you’re in New York, call the NY Medicaid Attorneys with Friedman & Ranzenhofer at 716-542-5444 to learn more.