Medicaid is a federal assistance program that helps participants with the rising costs of medical care as they grow old. Many states, including New York, have their own financial assistance programs that can be combined with Medicaid to provide significant help to elderly people who lack the individual financial ability to pay for nursing facilities and nursing home (or home) care.
To obtain the maximum financial assistance, an individual must complete a complex financial questionnaire and provide personal financial data to the supervising government agency. In New York, that agency is the New York State Department of Health; the federal program is supervised by the Social Security Administration.
Preparing the application
Before filing the application, an individual should double check eligibility requirements. In order to qualify for New York Medicaid, a person must be a legal U.S. citizen or a qualified alien. The person must be a resident of New York, be able to meet the income and asset requirements, and be at least 65 years old, blind, or permanently disabled.
The proper documents will be needed to verify any information. For example, proof of age can be accomplished with a U.S. Passport, birth certificate, driver’s license or baptismal certificate. Proof of citizenship can be made with a U.S. Passport, birth certificate, naturalization papers, alien registration card, or final adoption decree.
Financial resources can be verified with checking account and savings account statements, certificates of deposit, and life insurance policies with a cash value statement. Income can be verified by pay stubs, social security award letter, pension statements, or SSI or VA award letter. Similar documentation can be used to verify other statements made in the application.
The amount of benefits available under both Medicaid and New York Medicaid can be obtained from various web sites. Combining this information with the applicant’s existing financial resources can enable the applicant to allocate resources in the most effective manner possible.
An attorney with experience in elder care law or one of the many non-profit agencies that provide Medicare advice can help untangle the complexities of the application process and provide useful guidance in maximizing the amount of benefits that may be available.