The Medicaid program for long-term care was created by Congress decades ago and is administered by the States and their myriad separate counties. Did you know that there are at least 11 bodies of law that interpret this byzantine program? From top to bottom we have the Federal Medicaid statutes (42 USC 1396); the Social Security statutes pertaining to the SSI program (42 USC 1382); SSI regulations (20 CFR 416); SSI POMS interpretive rulings; CMS’ State Medicaid Manual and updated interpretive documents that have the authority of regulations; NJ Medicaid statutes; NJ state Medicaid regulations (NJAC 10:71 and 10:70); federal case law; NJ case law; NJ administrative Initial Decisions and Final Agency Decisions (FAD’s); and the NJ Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services (DMAHS) periodic communications (MedComs). Then there are the overlays such as the Due process clause of the federal and state constitutions, and other laws that provide protections to elders such as the nursing home reform act… when I teach elder law to lawyers, I remind them that they need to be familiar with all of this. So here are the top ten reasons:
1st Lawyers are trained to understand and creatively interpret the law for benefit of their client;
2nd Your lawyer is subject to state ethical requirements through the Rules of Professional Conduct.
3rd Your lawyer has a duty of exclusive loyalty to your interests and must avoid conflicts of interest which could harm your interests..
3rd Your lawyer has a duty to zealously represent your interests.
4th Your lawyer has a duty to diligently represent your interests
5th Your lawyer has a duty to preserve your confidences.
6th Your lawyer will advise you when a health care facility or nursing home is violating its obligations or overstepping its legal rights.
7th Your elder care lawyer will tell you how you can preserve your family assets by applying the Medicaid law to your best advantage
8th Applying for Medicaid involves a complex legal transaction with a high rate of denials, and it’s not just a matter of assembling a pile of documents and sending them to the county board of social services.
9th Your lawyer can identify and help solve the legal problems that arose before you stepped in to help your parent with Alzheimers or other dementias.
10th If your lawyer breaches their duty to you, you actually have recourse and remedies.
We’ve been representing clients in Medicaid applications and appeals for twenty years … call for appointment 732-382-6070