What's the first step to getting Medicaid?

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Mom's money is running out and she needs gov. assistance. She lives in a retirement community at 1600.00 / mo. Her money will run out in about 2 years. What's the first step to getting her on Medicaid and getting some financial assistance to move her to a less expensive place? She will only have 1350.00 / mo. social security to live on. Please help.

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Expert Answer
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Since you have time to plan, I recommend you get started learning what you can and can't, should or shouldn't do. That's why I wrote my book on Medicaid planning, How to Protect Your Family's Assets From Devastating Nursing Home Costs: Medicaid Secrets (www.MedicaidSecrets.com). I hope it will be of some help to you. You may be able to find it in the library, too.
Medicaid will not cover a "retirement community"/senior apartments. Medicaid rules also have different income limits in different states. Start by searching at Medicaid.gov for your state website. Start keeping a file of bank statements and tax returns, gather up insurance policies and vehicle titles. You will need at least five years of records to show to Medicaid.
@sforeman, hire a GOOD elder care attorney ASAP. I hired a woman who spoke at a Hospice seminar, she's the President of Caregiver Support & Resources in n FL, & she literally saved our financial lives - but do NOT wait!!! I can't emphasize that enough!!! Yes, she's a little expensive but it's WORTH it - I wish I knew what state you were in - if you're in FL I can give you her name.
@sforeman it's encouraging to see you taking initiative ahead of time on your mother's behalf. If only more people took that kind of responsibility! From what you wrote down it doesn't appear that your mom has a lot of assets to worry about protecting. So an elder law attorney may just be an added expense that you're not willing to bear. In that case I would advise you to go to your local Division of Family or Senior Services- whatever it may be called in your area- and find out what the criteria is for signing up for Medicaid. Find out what kind of documentation you will need to submit. And also find out what the income cap is in order to receive Medicaid services.

In the event that your mom does have assets that need protecting such as a house, then I would advise you to elicit an elder law attorney. To find an elder law attorney- some of which may give free counsel based on need- visit this site sponsored by the Agency on Aging at http://www.nlrc.aoa.gov/nlrc/Services_Providers/ where you can search by your specific state.

I hope you found this information helpful. And I hope that your mom's transition in care is a smooth and positive one.
Im in Florida, krusso! please give me her name! lindaatactampa.org!
A lot of hospitals in ks will start the process of filing if you have any treatment at that facility. You will still need all the docs that pstegman mentioned and they will tell you the spend down amount so you can qualify.
anyone know of a good elder law lawyer in MD? I have met two and while one is probably a good one to go with, the other was outrageously expensive but most frustrating was they each came up with a different way to go if my spouse needs to go in a NH and we need Medicaid.
You need to know the perameters for Medicaid before you start any application process. Why is her monthly income dropping from over $1,600.00 per month to $1,350.00 per month...S.S. My understanding is that the S.S. payments are uniform throughout the year and may go up, not down, in January of every year.
Spelling error: "parameters".....not "perameters"...sorry.
Does anyone know a good elder attorney that is at a reasonable cost in Lansing or East Lansing Michigan

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