Medicaid provides medical coverage, services, and benefits to low-income individuals, families, and elderly residents. In the Medicaid arena our firm specializes in long-term care services and supports available primarily to disabled senior citizens. If your loved one recently became disabled, has become ill and requires assistance at home, and assisted living facility, or nursing home care, or if you have questions about your Medicaid eligibility, the Medicaid lawyers at the Estate, Trust, & Elder Law Firm, P.L. in Port St. Lucie, Florida may be able to help you navigate the long-term care continuum including Medicare issues, planning for Medicaid qualification, placement, and application for benefits, including appeals for denial of prior applications. Medicaid is a government program based upon federal law with various provisions further fine-tuned by the states.
If you or your family are struggling to navigate the Medicaid benefits process, you don’t have to do this alone. Whether you need help getting Medicaid benefits to ensure that your loved one receives the long-term home, assisted living facility, or nursing home care he or she needs, or need assistance with a denied Medicaid disability claim, the Medicaid lawyers at the Estate, Trust, & Elder Law Firm, P.L. in Port St. Lucie, Florida can help you navigate the Medicaid application and appeals process. Our Medicaid law firm can also help you and your family with Medicaid planning to ensure that an inheritance or that assets won’t impact your loved one’s benefits.
Who Qualifies for Medicaid in Florida?
Medicaid has strict financial eligibility requirements. To qualify for long-term care Medicaid, you must be a low-income Florida resident. You must also either have a disability, or be at least 65 years old. The maximum income level permitted to qualify for long-term care Medicaid is $2313 per month. However, we can obtain qualification for persons with income in excess of that amount by drafting a qualified income trust.
On the asset side, long-term care Medicaid applicants must have less than $2000 in countable assets to qualify. Older individuals who have money saved for retirement may not qualify for Medicaid under this standard unless you obtain the services of someone like one of our skilled Medicaid lawyers to help restructure assets and income. If you own your own home and have equity in the home, that will generally not disqualify you for Medicaid benefits . However, consideration must be given to the ability to pay the carrying costs of the home if the owner is in a nursing facility.
As a general rule one cannot transfer assets to family members to qualify, unless the recipients are either married to the Medicaid applicant or disabled children. There are strict restrictions on how this must be done and stiff penalties for failing to do this correctly.
There are situations where individuals can end up burning through their life savings if a loved one needs nursing home care or suddenly becomes disabled. One way that families navigate these issues is by establishing a special needs trust for the individual or structuring their assets in accordance with government guidelines so that they can qualify for Medicaid. Individuals can be disqualified from receiving Medicaid if the government determines that they have too many assets. In this case, a special needs trust might be able to allow individuals to qualify for Medicaid. When money is placed into a special needs trust, the beneficiary cannot have direct access to the money and the money must be used only for qualified purposes. There are certain restrictions to how this trust can be created, when it can be created, and who must be named a beneficiary. Special needs trusts can include first-party special needs trusts for adults who have assets or who will inherit assets. Third-party trusts might be established for disabled children or they may be used by families that don’t have many assets, but who may want to set aside some money for a disabled loved one’s special needs.
If you have questions about how your assets or how an inheritance might impact a loved one’s access to Medicaid benefits, contact the Estate, Trust, & Elder Law Firm, P.L. in Port St. Lucie, Florida, a Medicaid law firm today. Our Medicaid lawyers can help you with your application and can assist you if your claim has been denied. We can also help you establish the right trust or other strategy customized to your personal family situation so that your loved one can qualify for Medicaid benefits.
Why is Medicaid Planning Important?
Medicaid planning should be part of any family’s end of life and estate plan unless the family has sufficient assets and income to be able to private pay for long-term care without risking quality of life or the financial security of a surviving spouse or other family member. The Medicaid law firm in Port St. Lucie, Florida at the Estate, Trust, & Elder Law Firm, P.L. can help you structure your assets properly now, so that if you later need nursing home or other long-term services and supports through Medicaid, VA benefits, or other public resources, you won’t be disqualified for having too many assets.
Many families who fail to properly structure their wealth (income or assets) might end up spending all their money on nursing home care, unaware that proper Medicaid planning could save them tens of thousands of dollars. If your family has a nest egg, and you don’t want to spend down your assets to qualify for Medicaid, speak to the Medicaid law firm at the Estate, Trust, & Elder Law Firm, P.L. in Port St. Lucie, Florida today. We can help you.
Medicaid Application Help in Port St. Lucie, Florida
The Estate, Trust, & Elder Law Firm, P.L. is a Medicaid law firm in Port St. Lucie, Florida that can help you or a loved one with your Medicaid application. Our Medicaid lawyers can help you understand the application process, help you gather the evidence you’ll need to submit to the government, and help you address any issues that could result in your disqualification. Our firm can also help you should you need to appeal a denied Medicaid claim. It can take significant time for a regular Medicaid application to be approved. During this time, families might have to pay for nursing services and medical services out of pocket. Any missing information can result in a delay in your application. The Medicaid lawyers at the Estate, Trust, & Elder Law Firm, P.L. in Port St. Lucie, Florida can review your application to ensure that it is complete and help you should your application be denied.
What should be included in a complete Medicaid application? You’ll want to include proof of age, proof of citizenship or status, proof of income, lists of assets and property, proof of your residence, and proof of your disability, if you are applying for disability benefits. Applying for Medicaid? Contact the Medicaid law firm in Port St. Lucie, Florida at the Estate, Trust, & Elder Law Firm, P.L.