An Elder Law Attorney Can Help You Apply for Medicaid

Most Floridians cannot afford to ignore the rising cost of long-term care and the benefits of Medicaid

Many people put off estate planning and find themselves unable to get help when they need it. When a person loses their mental capacity, planning options are limited. Planning ahead for long term care needs, including Medicaid eligibility, helps ensure your spouse and family will continue to have financial stability if you need long-term care.

Medicaid helps the elderly and people with disabilities with long-term medical care and other health-care related expenses, including assisted living or nursing home care. In Florida, Medicaid costs are shared among federal and state agencies. There are strict and complicated income and asset eligibility requirements that must be met to be eligible for Florida Medicaid. You must meet those eligibility standards before you apply.

Get help with Florida Medicaid eligibility, application and enrollment

Florida’s Medicaid program is run by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) and eligibility is determined either by the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) or by the Social Security Administration for people receiving SSI payments. DCF and Social Security have specific eligibility requirements:

  • Medicaid income eligibility requirements can be found here.
  • Social Security Administration income eligibility requirements for disabled and elderly people can be found here.
  • Medical powers of attorney for health care decisions. If you are incapacitated, disabled or unable to participate in your own health care, this legal document designates and empowers a health care surrogate with legal authority to act on your behalf.
  • Revocable and/or irrevocable trusts. Trusts enable you to transfer your property to others to protect your assets before and after you apply to Medicaid. You maintain control over a revocable trust and can make changes (add/subtract beneficiaries or provisions) at any time. An irrevocable trust has terms that cannot be altered and the assets in the trust belong to the trust beneficiaries, not you. An irrevocable trust can help you become eligible for Medicaid while providing for your family (trust beneficiaries).
  • Qualified income (QIT or Miller) trusts. A qualified income trust is used for Medicaid nursing home-related programs when your income exceeds the Medicaid eligibility requirements. The money in the QIT can only be used for specific purposes; a personal needs allowance, unreimbursed medical expenses; spousal income allowance and for payment to the nursing home.After you die, any remaining money is paid to the state.
  • Other directives for long-term care planning. You should also consult with your board certified elder law attorney about other estate and long-term care planning tools such as your will, advanced health care directives, living wills, organ donations, and other important estate planning tools.
  • Acting as your representative and intermediary for forwarding written correspondence received from Medicaid.
  • Answering general questions about any correspondence received from Medicaid.
  • Assisting with the recertification process at annual renewal.

A board certified elder law attorney can help you meet the Florida Medicaid income eligibility requirements and avoid making simple errors that can cause your enrollment to be delayed or denied. Lawyers who specialize in elder law can help you determine the best way to arrange your assets so you will qualify for Medicaid when and if you need it, without leaving your family destitute.

A Florida elder law attorney helps you plan for Medicaid and health care

Before you apply for Medicaid, you should contact an experienced, board certified elder law attorney. The Florida Medicaid qualification process can be very complex and is not something you should attempt without the assistance of a qualified legal professional. When you apply for Medicaid, the state will review your financial records for the previous five years. That means that may need to have a plan in place at least five years before applying for Medicaid.

Your elder law attorney can help you create legal documents and trusts that can protect you and your family if you become incapacitated and/or require long-term care. This includes:

Experienced Florida elder law and Medicaid planning lawyers

The Law Firm of Hoyt & Bryan provides the central Florida community with free scheduled workshops on elder care, elder law, estate planning, Medicaid, Veterans Benefits and related issues. We also offer a Medicaid Maintenance Program that includes:

  • Acting as your representative and intermediary for forwarding written correspondence received from Medicaid.
  • Answering general questions about any correspondence received from Medicaid.
  • Assisting with the recertification process at annual renewal.

To learn more about how we can support your Medicaid, asset protection, elder law and health care planning needs, call us today at (407) 977-8080, or contact us online. Our law firm is the only Florida law firm with two board certified estate, wills and trusts and elder law attorneys.

Peggy R. Hoyt - The Law Offices Of Hoyt & Bryan
About the Author: Peggy Hoyt
Peggy R. Hoyt practices in the areas of family wealth and legacy counselling, including trust and estate planning and administration, elder law, small business creation, succession and exit planning, real estate transactions and animal law.