Interviewer:  Whitney, why is it important to consult with an elder law attorney before applying for Medicaid?

Whitney:  There are a lot of people out there with a lot of good information when it comes to Medicaid. The problem with that is that their main goal is to get you onto Medicaid as quickly as possible.

Social workers, the people at the Medicaid office, they are not trying to lead you astray, or they’re trying to withhold information. Their job is to get you to qualify for Medicaid as quickly as possible.

The problem with that is based on some of your financial transactions over the last 60 months or five years, can cause you to have Medicaid penalties. The penalty is kind of like penalty box in hockey. For each bad thing that you did or each mistake that you might have made, they are going to put you in a penalty box. It’s a penalty box of time.

That means that is one month that you may not be getting your Medicaid benefits. If you have done one of these financial transactions in the last five years, your penalty box can be really, really big.

It is important to see an attorney ahead of time, so that we can review your financial history over the last five years to strategically decide when to file for your Medicaid benefits, so that you don’t end up with a big huge penalty of time.