Medicaid is an essential program for helping seniors and others with medical needs get the care they deserve. However, just because it’s essential doesn’t mean the application process is easy. One of the most significant considerations when it comes to applying for Medicaid is its income restrictions.

Too many families are shocked to find that they do not qualify for Medicaid assistance because their income is too high. This can lead some families to “spend down” their assets, effectively putting their loved ones in the poorhouse to get crucial assistance. An attorney may be able to help you avoid this result and account for other considerations when it comes to seeking Medicaid.

If the person is not a lawyer, they cannot give legal advice

Numerous companies exist which provide help with Medicaid application processing. While these companies may be good at literally “crossing the t’s” on your form, there is little else they can offer you. They are forbidden from providing any legal advice, including guidance on asset transfers, which may be able to help avoid the dreaded “spend down” of your loved one’s assets.

Medicaid processing companies are only interested in getting your loved one approved for Medicaid assistance. A lawyer shares this same goal but is also interested in using allowable legal strategies to help limit the impact a Medicaid filing may have on your loved one’s estate.

Medicaid planning should begin sooner rather than later. The state will take a look at the past five years of your financial records to determine whether you hid assets in an attempt to qualify for coverage. It would be best if you took the time to discuss your options with a skilled elder law professional.