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  • Potential dangers in the “straightforward” application for Medicaid benefits.
Nursing home Medicaid is a program funded by the Federal government and administered by the Georgia Department of Community Health to provide coverage for individuals who have a medical need for nursing home care.  The application for Medicaid benefits can be found on the Department of Community Health’s website.  At first glance, the application looks basic and easy to complete, as it simply asks for basic information on the applicant, their family, their health, their income, and their assets.  The problem is the evidence that must be provided.  The Department of Community Health wants extensive proof of the financial position of the Medicaid applicant.  This includes years of bank statements, original proof of source of income, health insurance, proof of citizenship, birth certificates, marriage certificates,  and many other documents.
It is important to timely respond to requests from Georgia Department of Community Health.  Failure to respond to these requests can result in Medicaid benefits being denied.  It is also important to provide details of any spend down of assets that were made to qualify for Medicaid.  If exempt assets were purchased as part of the spend down, the identity of these assets must be disclosed.
It is not uncommon for an application to be denied even though all the documents were provided on time. In this instance, follow up with the caseworker to alert them that documents were provided.  Also ask for a fair hearing, as this will trigger a review of the file by a supervisor who can resolve the issues.  While it is possible to be qualified for Medicaid by submitting an application yourself, if significant asset spend downs were made, it is best to seek the assistance of an experienced elder law attorney.  The attorney can streamline the process and insure that an approval is made.  Such a quicker approval process, can save time and thousands of dollars in nursing home bills.