Applying for Medicaid - The Process, and How a Lawyer Can Help Navigate the Process

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

    A Medicaid application is generally begun by a call to the local Medicaid Office.

    Generally, information about the Medicaid applicant is taken, and a case is opened by the Medicaid staff.

    They may ask some preliminary questions to be sure that the applicant is likely eligible for Medicaid.  These will be very basic questions, like the level of assistance the applicant needs, and what the person’s assets and income are, in a very general sense.

    Once a case is opened up, a meeting (often by telephone) to fill out a more detailed application will be scheduled.

    There is an application for benefits in Oregon that is over 50 pages long.

    This can be long and confusing.

    It also can be absolutely followed by some Medicaid case workers, and virtually ignored by other case workers.

    It can also take weeks or even more than a month for Medicaid to process the initial application, and for a denial to be issued if the person is not yet ready for Medicaid.

    Having a lawyer who understands Medicaid and the Medicaid application process can be very helpful.

    Such a lawyer can help you to understand whether your loved one likely qualifies for Medicaid now, what steps need to be taken in order for the person to qualify for Medicaid if they are not currently qualified, and how to save assets from Medicaid spend down to the extent that this is possible.

    A good elder law lawyer can help prevent applications from being made too soon, when they will be rejected out of hand.

    An application for Medicaid should generally be made about six weeks before the person is expected to qualify for Medicaid.

    A good elder law lawyer can help to make sure a person qualifies financially for Medicaid sooner rather than later, reducing the amount that has to be spent out of pocket, if those funds could be saved for the benefit of the well spouse or a disabled child.

    A good elder law lawyer can also help to collect all the information that will be needed for the Medicaid application, and can organize it and present it to the case worker in a way that will be most efficient, hopefully cutting significant time from the application process.