Lawyer Assistance Need for Florida Nursing Home Medicaid Application?

by Kellen Bryant

Should I consult a lawyer to help me with a Medicaid application for my parent or parents in a nursing home in Florida? Now, without self interest, it depends whether or not you should involve a lawyer.

In this article, I’m going to go through the rising reasons to involve an attorney.

In order to answer the question at hand, it’s all dependent on three things about the person applying:

  1. Their Marital Status
  2. Their Income
  3. Their Assets

So let’s go through the various levels of who to go to for help on the Medicaid application.

To watch this video from my youtube channel, click here. 

First is the basic case.

In a basic case, typically, you may not need an attorney.

In many cases for the basic case which I’m about to describe to you, the nursing home itself can do the Medicaid application for you and not charge a thing. They do it as part of getting paid for their services providing care.

So what does a basic case look like?

It’s all dependent on the type of assets and income that the applicant has.

For single person or widow who makes less than $2,000 a month in income, who has less than $2,000 in their bank account, and maybe a house, but no life insurance; that would be a low asset case. Unless the person transferred some or all of their money within 5 years of needing nursing care (which the state of Florida will find), the nursing home will do that application for you because it’s basic.

In this case, you may not have to involve an attorney. It is very helpful to make sure that your parent’s durable power of attorney, designation of health care surrogate, and living will are all up to date and proper, but as for the Medicaid application portion, you don’t probably need an attorney.

Let’s next look at an intermediate difficulty to get Medicaid coverage in a Florida nursing home.

In this case, you should probably involve an attorney.

For a single person, an intermediate case may involve your parent having a house and more than $8,000-$10,000 cash. The problem you don’t want to happen in an intermediate case is spend all that $10,000 on care and then have nothing to keep up the house with or have nothing to help provide daily necessities. Involving an elder law attorney, even with that sum of money, may be helpful.

With that sum of money, you may be able to get help from somebody else preparing the Medicaid application.

Maybe not the attorney because the Medicaid application may not be that difficult.

If you have like $10,000, $15,000 low amount of cash, or it’s a husband and wife and the healthy spouse is going to get some money or has some sort of shortchange on income, there may be some legal issues there that an attorney could help out with, but generally it’s not a full case. It’s something that you want to definitely check and have a review maybe, or just a consultation with an attorney to make sure everything is set up correctly.

Sometimes additional work may be needed, but it’s not what I would consider a heavy-duty case that needs heavy attorney involvement.

Now for more advanced case for Medicaid coverage in a Florida nursing home…

You should have an attorney with you along the entire way.

Let’s define an advanced case.

An advanced case is when there are significant assets and types of assets over $15,000-$20,000 in total assets.

There’s a lot of types of assets: stocks, life insurance, even at small sums, or annuities.

If it’s a husband and wife case, the assets are above $150,000, $130,000, then it’s a little bit more advanced. If the healthy spouse needs a lot of income from a spouse in the nursing home, that raises some issues in order for the healthy spouse to pay her bill.

That’s when you may need some legal work to help the healthy spouse with his or her cost of daily living.

So usually, the more complex cases involve assets above $15,000 and many types of assets. That’s where you need an attorney involved to oversee the entire process, including the application, due to the complexity and pitfalls that can occur.

What you don’t want is to have that mishandled from the beginning or along the way where a big chunk of work is all for nothing because the application process gets denied.

So depending on the complexity is the attorney involvement, and you can typically find that attorney in your local area by Googling elder law attorney.

If you are having more questions about Florida Medicaid, feel free to continue to watch the video on my youtube channel.

Previous post:

Next post: