Nursing home residents are entitled to hire their own attorneys for legal advice about Medicaid applications (or any other matter). Here’s what can happen, though. The admissions department or business office of a nursing home frequently steers a new resident to a non-attorney Medicaid application preparation person or company, without disclosing the business relationship between the person’s company and the nursing home. The resident’s family is led to think that they don’t “need” individual legal advice, or that using that outfit is a necessary part of the whole admissions arrangement. Before they know what’s happened, the family is turning over confidential records to someone who may have no duties to protect their interests.
The fact is, eligibility for Medicaid depends on the facts and the law. It’s much more involved than simply filling out a form and submitting a pile of documentation to the County Board of Social Services.
The Medicaid program is a complex entanglement of laws and procedures. Each person’s eligibility depends on how his set of unique facts fits into a dozen bodies of law including real property, trusts and estates, banking, gifts and loans, federal law, state law, and county procedure. These are the issues that attorneys are trained to understand and apply to the client’s case.
Here are some of the reasons why would you would benefit from hiring an attorney to be the advocate on your Medicaid application:
1st Lawyers are trained to understand and creatively interpret the laws to benefit the client;
2nd Your lawyer has a duty of exclusive loyalty to your interests and must avoid conflicts of interest which could harm your interests.
3rd Your lawyer has a duty to diligently and zealously represent your interests.
4th Your elder care lawyer will tell you how you can preserve your assets for your spouse or family by applying the Medicaid laws to your best advantage
5th Applying for Medicaid involves a complex legal transaction with a high rate of denials, and your elder care lawyer will identify potential legal problems and develop a strategy to address those issues to your best advantage.
6th Your elder care lawyer will advise you when a health care facility or nursing home is violating its obligations or overstepping its legal limits.
Attorneys are subject to state ethical requirements through the Rules of Professional Conduct. These rules give the client the assurance that the attorney is working only for the client, and that Medicaid eligibility planning is truly designed with the client’s goals in mind.
We’ve been preparing and filing Medicaid applications and appeals for twenty-five years …. call for advice and representation ……. 732-382-6070