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The Second Step in CRISIS planning for Long Term Care:

Gathering the Correct Documentation – in Order to File for and Obtain Eligibility for Medicaid – Long-Term Care
The average cost of a nursing home in Chicago can range from $6,000 to $12,000 or more, in our experience.
Because of this high cost, most of our middle class taxpayer clients seek coverage in the Medicaid program to cover their long-term care costs.
One of the most vexing problems that our clients experience is obtaining and preparing the necessary documentation for obtaining Medicaid coverage for long-term care.
Below you will see a list of documents that we routinely ask our clients to pull together so that we can properly prepare a Medicaid application for their Medicaid eligibility.
It would be a good idea to start working on some of this documentation around the age of 65. This is good factual biographical documentation to keep on hand for many purposes not just Medicaid.
One of the problematic areas for our clients is gathering 60 months of statements for every account that existed during the 60 months prior to the submission of the application for Medicaid.
The easiest way to obtain the statements is to ask your bank or financial institution to print them out for you, even if it results in incurring a slight cost. Going through envelopes and trying to unfurl tri-folded statements that have been in the basement for five years is not going to enable the efficient preparation of a Medicaid application. Many clients are frustrated by the process.
The gathering of the 60 month statements is important so that a review of the statements can be made to find out if there are any inexplicable transactions, or transfers to third parties that could be considered under the Medicaid rules “an uncompensated transfer” and thus result in a penalty period for the Medicaid applicant. Generally, Medicaid will penalize you if they feel that you transferred money and didn’t get fair market value of services or goods in return. The most common cause of this sort of allegation by Medicaid is gifting to children or other third parties. Our firm generally discourages gifting to family or third parties unless it’s done in a very controlled and measurable environment with our assistance.
Please review the documentation below and determine what you can pull together for general purposes now. It’s good to have some of the biographical data on hand.
Medicaid eligibility can be a long and arduous process, but at $6,000-$12,000 a month, it is worth the effort to try to become eligible if you ever require long-term care based on your medical needs.
List of Asset and Income Documentation Needed for Medicaid Application
General Information: (for both the person seeking Medicaid, and their spouse, if any)
  • Social Security Card (or other proof of Social Security Number if card is lost);
  • Birth Certificate (if not a citizen, Naturalization Certificate or Green Card);
  • Marriage Certificate;
  • Spouse Death Certificate if applicable;
  • Medicare Card;
  • Photo ID Card;
  • Health Insurance Card and Prescription Insurance card and latest premium statement;
  • Copies of most recent utility bills (for caregiver child exceptions to establish residency);
  • Copies of any motor Vehicle Titles or registrations to show ownership;
  • Copies of Federal Income Tax Returns and schedules for the 60 month look-back period; and
  • Name of current facility applicant resides in, monthly fee and date entered.
Income Verifications: (for both the person seeking Medicaid, and their spouse, if any)
*It’s best to provide the most recent statements for any of the following income received; needs to state current year gross income, deductions and net amount:
  • Veterans Benefits;
  • Civil Service;
  • Workers Compensations;
  • Rental Income;
  • Social Security (current benefit statement showing gross income with any deductions);
  • Employee Pensions;
  • Railroad Retirement;
  • Wages;
  • Alimony;
  • Annuity Income; and
  • Unemployment.
Assets: (for both the person seeking Medicaid, and their spouse, if any)
*Please provide complete statements for current and/or closed accounts within the previous 60 months
*Please also provide copies of deposit slips and the items deposited, checks, and proof of destination of withdrawals for any transactions $1,000 or more.
  • Savings account statements or copies of passbook pages back 60 months
  • Checking account statements, including copies of checks, back 60 months
  • Bonds (U.S. Savings Bonds, Treasury Bonds, etc.) back 60 months
  • Stock statements back 60 months
  • Certificates of Deposits going back 60 months
  • IRA’s, 401(k), Keoghs, pensions, etc. back 60 months
  • Annuities going back 60 months
  • Life insurance policies and current cash surrender values of all policies
  • Pre-paid burial contracts or Mortuary Trusts and/or Burial plot
  • Guardian/Conservator documents or Durable Power of Attorney
  • Deeds of ownership of any land and buildings, most recent municipal property tax bills, and copy of homeowner’s insurance policy
  • Copies of timeshares
  • Documentation of any assets transferred, gifted, loaned, paid out, to others or closed/disposed of within the past 60 months (i.e. closed financial accounts, vehicles sold, etc.)
We hope this article is been helpful in shedding some light on the process of obtaining good documentation and the reasons for it.
Note: this article is not intended to be a comprehensive checklist of how to prepare a Medicaid application. Rather it is just a short overview. We recommend that before anyone submits a Medicaid application they confer with an elder law attorney, who focuses on Medicaid eligibility, to examine all relevant issues before submission of the application.
Next month we will show how this process will bear fruit when we start discussing strategies for asset protection when long-term care in a Medicaid facility is desired, or necessary.
You have our best wishes,
Anthony B. Ferraro