Medicaid Application Help

Medicaid Planning Lawyer in Florida

Florida Medicaid has different programs. Mostly everyone is familiar with their health insurance program. But, for our purposes, we are concerned with applying for the Medicaid Institutional Care Program (ICP) or for Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (also known as the Medicaid Waiver Program) which pays for some or all long-term care costs.

https://www.dcf.state.fl.us/programs/access/docs/icp_brochure.pdf - the actual Medicaid application can be downloaded here: http://www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/access-florida-food-medical-assistance-cash/common-access-florida-forms.

You will find the 18 page Florida Medicaid-Eligibility Application Form. You can also apply for Florida Medicaid online using the ACCESS system.

No law requires that you hire a lawyer or Medicaid-planner to fill this out for you. However, the Medicaid application is long and complex. As a result, most people prefer to have a Medicaid-planning professional fill it out instead. This greatly increases the chance of your application will be error-free and that the Medicaid applicant will be approved for their Institutional Care Program or Medicaid Waiver (home and community based services medicaid) benefits sooner.

Common Florida Medicaid Application Mistakes

Medicaid laws are difficult to navigate alone and it is easy to make mistakes when filling out a Medicaid application. One common mistake is simply applying too early. Medicaid reviews your assets and income – and if you have not engaged in proper Medicaid planning, you could subject yourself to unnecessary delays and penalties.

Another common Medicaid-application mistake is trying to play amateur Medicaid-planning lawyer. Many people will attempt to give away all their assets (perhaps to a close family member) in an effort bring themselves below the Medicaid-ICP qualification threshold. It is a rude awakening when they realize that Medicaid specialists know of this and specifically investigate gifts for the five years prior to the medicaid application being submitted.

Trying to hide this from Medicaid is a felony (Medicaid Fraud) and when the investigating Medicaid-application processing specialist inevitably does find evidence that money or other assets were gifted away, there is a penalty period imposed.

Our Medicaid planning law firm knows what Medicaid is looking for and how best to present your case to qualify you as efficiently as possible. To discuss some of the other common Florida medicaid application mistakes, or to just get some general medicaid application guidance (with no obligation to actually hire us to handle the full Florida medicaid application for you), schedule a consultation.

Furthermore, if applying for the Florida Medicaid Waiver, there is a wait-list (i.e. if you are at home or in an ALF; no wait-list if the Medicaid applicant requires nursing home care). If you, or or loved one, desires to remain at home or in an assisted living facility, we want to help you do so while minimizing the amount of time you will have to wait for long term care Medicaid waiver services.  

When Applying for Medicaid in Florida: Divide and Conquer

As Florida elder care lawyers and Medicaid-planning attorneys, we try to do as much of the heavy lifting for you as possible. But there are certain required Medicaid-planning items that make sense for the client to handle (perhaps with the assistance of their family, estate planning attorney, or financial planner) since time is of the essence. For example locating previously-executed Will and Trust documents; powers of attorney; bank account information, retirement account, and brokerage account statements are tasks that just make logical sense for the client to retrieve, rather than the elder-law attorney.

However, once these items are obtained and presented to the elder law or Medicaid-planning attorney, all the heavy lifting is done on our end, including preparing all necessary documents, deploying Medicaid-qualification strategies, and filling out and following through with the Medicaid application until it is approved. We even provide you with detailed instructions on your obligations after you have been approved for Medicaid and what you need to do in order to maintain Medicaid eligibility.

When applying to the Home and Community Based Services Waiver program, there is an interview process. We can coach you through the Medicaid screening to improve your placement on the Medicaid waiver wait list.

What items do I bring when meeting with a lawyer to assist with the Medicaid Application in Florida

In this initial medicaid lawyer consultation article, I explain what items are needed to make the most efficient use of your time with the medicaid attorney who will be assisting with your medicaid application in Florida.

If you do not have all of the requested information and documents, as long as you have an educated estimate as to the value of assets and income sources, you can have a meaningful meeting with the lawyer. Items can always be gathered and produced later and the initial medicaid planning consultation should not be delayed.

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"Jason and his team are responsive and communicate very well. Jason helped me to get the benefits that I qualified for much faster than expected. I would recommend him highly. My case seemed complicated to me, but Jason explained everything in detail and made everything go quite smoothly. I interviewed several elderlaw attorneys prior to choosing Jason Neufeld."

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“The attorney Jason and his team are amazing at planning and execution. Me and my family would not trust anyone else with our estate planning needs.”

“I've been very impressed! A friend referred me and I've experienced nothing but perfect service and professionalism. I am extremely grateful!”

“A strong recommendation for Jason Neufeld and his Elder Law firm - very professional, patient, reliable, and experienced. When my father fell terminally ill, I became responsible for his assets and finances overnight, including the daunting task to qualify him for Medicaid. I interviewed several elder law firms but was most impressed by Jason’s client approach and practices. Throughout the process, Jason and his team provided clear guidance and support to successfully complete all the new and complex tasks required as a POA, and more importantly he enabled us to quickly achieve our goals related to Medicaid and estate planning. His fees are more than reasonable for the level of due diligence and support we received.”

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FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you need to apply for Medicaid?
Before applying for Medicaid you will need to make sure you have all of the following information at hand.
  • Proof of age and citizenship
  • Proof of all income sources, including:
    - Paystubs
    - Tax Returns
    - Social Security
    - Supplemental Security Income
    - Veteran’s Benefits
  • Proof of all assets, including
    - Bank accounts
    - Retirement Accounts
    - Trusts
Is applying for Medicaid difficult?
The actual application process for Medicaid is reasonably simple, however, the associated documentation and qualification requirements can be extremely complicated. An experienced Medicaid Planning Attorney will be able to advise you through the entire planning and application process in order to make sure everything is in line with their requirements in order to have the best chance at approval.
How far back does Medicaid look at income?
The Medicaid lookback period is five years. This means that they will look at income and assets for the past five years. This is important to remember because any gifts or transfers within this timeframe are potentially subject to penalties.
Will Medicaid check my bank account?
Yes, Medicaid will look at statements from bank accounts and other financial institutions for the period covering the five years prior to the application date. They will be looking for gifts and other transfers, which are considered a red flag that someone may be trying to illegally rid themselves of assets in order to qualify for benefits.

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