Gathering the Documents Needed When Applying for Medicaid Can Be Overwhelming

When you become financially eligible for Medicaid, the next step is to apply and it’s generally a straightforward process.  You fill out an application with basic information about yourself and submit it to the county Job and Family Services (JFS) where you currently reside.

However, the next steps are crucial and can become overwhelming.

Be prepared to send JFS current financial statements of every account you and your spouse own, along with income verification from every source of income received by you and your spouse. Technically, JFS can require you to provide 60 months (five years) of statements because of the “five-year-look-back” period. This is because JFS will want to know whether you transferred or gifted any assets to someone else before applying for Medicaid.

In addition to all the financial records, JFS wants to ensure you are a citizen and verify what medical insurance you receive. These documents include, but are not limited to, State IDs, Social Security cards, Medicare cards, Medicare Supplement cards, birth certificates and marriage certificates.

Navigating this process can be mind-boggling and working with an experienced Elder Law Attorney can ensure financial eligibility and take the stress off of you when applying.  The attorney will tell you exactly what documents you will need and handle the application process with JFS, saving you the hassle of organizing what could be hundreds of pages of documents.

Keep reading ...

Hickman & Lowder Presents Elder Law Talks, Do I Need a Will?

Hickman & Lowder Co., L.P.A. is excited to present its new Elder Law Talks series. We will regularly be sharing short videos to help you expand your awareness, reduce your stress and redefine what is possible as you advocate for your loved one.

This week’s episode: Do I Need a Will?

In our first episode of Elder Law Talks, Attorney David Banas addresses the one question he is asked every time he meets a potential client ..

Keep reading ...

Guardianship Can Be a Helpful Tool

With all the changes that have taken place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including social isolation and broken routines, we are finding that some people who were once “stable” and able to manage their daily affairs safely are now unable to do so.   They may be eloping, refusing food or medication, or maybe even having thoughts of suicide.  For some people, guardianship is a helpful tool.

Guardianship is necessary when an adult is incompetent to manage his/her own affairs, perhaps due to mental health issues or some type of cognitive impairment.   If the person over whom guardianship is being sought (also called the Ward) needs help managing money, then you could seek Guardianship of the Estate.   If the Ward needs help making daily, personal decisions, such as housing, food, clothing, medical care, etc., then you could seek Guardianship of the Person.  If the Ward needs help with both, you may request both.

The process is fairly simple.  Someone who knows the Ward, typically a family member, files an application for guardianship with the Probate Court in the county where the Ward resides.  The application must include a Statement of Expert Evaluation, which is a written report from a physician or clinical psychologist who has evaluated the person and believes that he/she is incompetent and in need of a guardian.  The Probate Court sends an investigator to meet with the prospective Ward, to give notice of the impending action and ask if he/she wants legal counsel. The court investigator also prepares

Keep reading ...

Tips for Long-distance Caregiving

Caring for a family member from a distance is a daunting and complicated task.  Practically, how does one ensure that a loved one receives adequate supervision?  How does one ensure that Mom or Dad is eating, bathing, or maintaining the home?  Emotionally, how can one remain connected in a caring, loving relationship when separated by hundreds or thousands of miles?  Often, loved ones decide to move Mom or Dad closer to themselves, to live in their home or to receive care near them.  But that is rarely ideal for the caregiver and can be extremely stressful on Mom or Dad – especially when already dealing with a decline in cognition or physical abilities.

And now we live in a world where it is less common that we live in the same geographical areas as our parents or other loved ones that need care.  But, we also live in a time of amazing technology and changing modes of care and oversight.  Here are some tips for long-distance caregivers that may provide practical solutions and emotional comfort for both caregiver and loved one:

  • Utilize technology – Facebook’s Portal or Amazon’s Echo Show allow remarkable face-to-face interaction and communication from long distances.  Introduce these tools early, ideally before care and oversight is needed, to get comfortable.
  • Establish “check-up” protocols; even a text message at set times as a check-up between those who need care can be quick and non-intrusive ways to make sure that a loved one is well.
  • Utilize video monitoring and
Keep reading ...

In Search of a Caregiver

I recently saw the following post in a private Facebook group for residents of my city: “Wanted ASAP: Live-in caregiver for adult woman with Cerebral Palsy and a developmental disability. Clearances mandatory. PM me for details.”  It gave me pause.  My first thought was that of concern for the person in need of caregiving.  To me, this situation seemed ripe for an ill-intentioned person to possibly take advantage, either physically or financially.   Surely, there are safer ways to connect with a qualified, potential caregiver – or not.  Was I being overly cautious and out of touch?  I am perfectly comfortable with people seeking other types of services on social media.  Is caregiving any different?  I asked Care Coordinator Janelle Leonard for her thoughts.  Here’s what she said:

Keep reading ...
Older adults alzheimers alert system

Resource for Caregivers

We have all heard of “Amber” alerts.  They are messages regarding missing orabducted children and are intended to alert us in the event we have any information regarding the missing child’s whereabouts.  Perhaps we’ve received them as texts, emails, or voice mails.  Maybe we’ve seen them on billboards as we’re driving.  The intent is to use the public’s help to locate the missing child as quickly as possible.

Keep reading ...