Long Island, New York Medicaid Planning Attorneys:
Serving Nassau County, Suffolk County, Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan NYC, the Bronx and Metro New York
Long Island, New York Medicaid Planning and Medicaid Applications Law Firm
Since 2000 the Garden City, NY law firm of Berwitz & DiTata LLP has assisted families and individuals throughout Long Island and the New York metropolitan area establish plans that will protect their assets and ensure eligibility for Medicaid benefits. We help clients with both Medicaid planning and the preparation and submission of Medicaid applications.
Medicaid Eligibility Planning
Medicaid rules and regulations are complicated. Qualifying for Medicaid benefits involves an analysis of your resources and income. To be eligible for Medicaid, your resources can not exceed a certain level. To help clients achieve Medicaid eligibility, we employ numerous techniques, depending on their specific needs and goals.
Some of the Medicaid planning and Medicaid strategies that we employ include:
- Estate planning and asset protection planning
- Creation of irrevocable income-only trusts
- Preparation of promissory notes and loans
- Gifting strategies and asset transfers
- Prepayment of specific expenditures that are considered exempt by Medicaid
Applying for Medicaid and properly completing and submitting the Medicaid application can make the difference between eligibility and denial of benefits. The application must be supported with personal information and financial data. The counties and the City of New York each have their own unique Medicaid application process and forms. In order to qualify for Medicaid benefits the applicant must apply in the appropriate county and must follow its filing requirements. Once the Medicaid application is submitted, Medicaid will assign a case worker to review and investigate each matter. The case worker can request additional supporting information and documentation. A Medicaid applicant's failure to timely comply with a case worker's request can result in denial of Medicaid benefits. For all of these reasons, we recommend working with a Medicaid lawyer that has experience in the county in which you must apply. If you need assistance with Medicaid related services, please contact our Medicaid planning law firm so that we can help you.
Article: Annual Medicaid Recertification download article nowMedicaid benefits are not guaranteed for life. In fact, annual renewal is required for all Medicaid Recipients.
Just when you thought it was over, that the painstaking process of record collection and accountability, which is necessary when applying for Medicaid benefits, was just a well-forgotten memory, you receive a letter from the local Medicaid office notifying you that it is time to review your loved one's eligibility. What's this? Can it be? We start all over again?
In New York, Medicaid benefits, for both institutional and home care, are granted for only a limited period, generally not more than 12 months. Once a year, or whenever there is a change in the Medicaid recipient's circumstances, such as marital status, health, residency, or asset level, the Medicaid office must determine the recipient's continued eligibility. This process is called "Recertification."
Generally, at least sixty (60) days prior to the date coverage "expires," Medicaid notifies a recipient, or his/her representative, that current information and documentation must be provided in order for benefits to continue. It forwards a recertification/renewal package which must be completed, dated, signed and returned with the required documentation by the deadline provided. Failure to do so may result in the termination of benefits.
For each annual recertification, Medicaid requests income verification and financial documentation establishing a continuing right to benefits. Current statements from banks and other financial institutions must be provided along with information as to other resources, for instance receipt of or entitlement to an inheritance or the proceeds of a law suit. Medicaid also seeks updated information regarding residence, marital status and health insurance. Home care recipients are required to furnish a medical form, completed by their doctor following examination. As with the initial application process, at recertification, a recipient who is married must disclose information concerning the spouse's income and resources.
Once the initial packet has been reviewed, a caseworker will either demand additional documentation or issue a notice of recertification of eligibility for the next 12 months! Take heart. You won't hear from them for another 10 months, when you will start the recertification cycle once again.
Please remember that our office is always happy to help you in the recertification process. Please do not hesitate to contact us.
Long Island, New York Medicaid Planning Attorneys
Work with accomplished New York Medicaid attorneys who can help you with your Medicaid eligibility planning, preparation of Medicaid applications and annual Medicaid recertification. Call the Medicaid law firm of Berwitz & DiTata LLP at 516-747-3200 to make an appointment today.
|Medicaid Article: Record Retention - A Good Habit To Cultivate download article now
The implementation of the new Medicaid rules makes record retention and retrieval a major concern to Medicaid applicants. Under the prior rules, the vast majority of applications were supplemented with three years worth of financial records: monthly statements of all bank and brokerage accounts, canceled checks and receipts for certain transactions, documentation reflecting income, tax returns and a whole host of other records. Now, with the implementation in New York of the changes contained in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, the broadening of the disclosure period from three to five years under all circumstances will present significant challenges to the applicant and his or her family.
The practical effect of this change is that it is now more important than ever to maintain financial records. The alternative is not pretty. Answer this question: If asked, could you provide your family with copies of all of your tax returns, passbooks and statements for your bank, brokerage, annuity and retirement accounts for the past five years? Even if your answer is yes, does your family know how to find these documents if you become incapacitated? If your answer is no, how much work will it be for your family to recreate those records?
Time after time, we are retained by families to prepare the Medicaid application for an incapacitated family member. All too often, not only don't they have the documentation necessary to support the application, they have no real knowledge or understanding of the finances or financial history. They do not know how many accounts exist, where they are maintained or the value of the accounts. Dealing with the issues that arise when a family member is ill is difficult enough. The pressure to locate all of the financial information which is required to support the Medicaid application can be completely overwhelming. And now that the look-back or disclosure period has been increased to five years, we anticipate that the problems will be compounded.
There is a simple solution which will minimize the burden on your family. We all hope that we will not become ill or require long-term care. But organized record retention is a good habit to cultivate -- even for the young and healthy! Purchase a three-ring binder, a three- hole punch and dividers. Create a separate section for each account that you own. Each month, punch holes in the statements you receive and store them in the binder in the section for that particular account. At the end of the year, store the binder, purchase a new one and repeat this process. Repeat this process each year. If Medicaid planning is the sole issue, after the sixth year, you can discard the contents of the oldest binder and reuse it. Most accountants, however, recommend that you retain your records for a period of seven years.
Organizing and storing your financial records as you receive them will take minimal time and effort. It will not only save countless hours and the expense of having to recreate the records in the event of incapacity, but it will also significantly reduce the stress on your family.
you need assistance with New York Medicaid planning, eligibility or recertification? Let us know how our
estate attorneys can help you. Fill out the form below with your
comments or call Berwitz & DiTata LLP at 516-747-3200.
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