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The Ten Commandments of Resolving a Catastrophic Injury Case

1. Thou shalt recommend to your client to consult with a board certified elder law attorney before mediation. 2. Thou shalt take steps to preserve the client’s government benefits with a special needs trust. 3. Thou shalt  have a guardian appointed timely. 4.  Thou shalt notify the Medicaid collection agency of the settlement and satisfy the casualty lien. 5.  Thou shalt recommend a combination of cash and a…

Beware The Pitfalls of Over-Structuring a Settlement

Plaintiff’s receiving a settlement want to have it safely and conservatively invested.  As attorneys, we share their concern about dissipation of the settlement perhaps for different reasons.   To safeguard the client (sometimes from their own fiscal irresponsibility) structured settlements are an option.  The use of a structured settlement can be a double-edge sword as explained below.…

Insurance Carriers May Delay Issuing Payment of Settlement Pending Determination of Medicare’s Reimbursable Conditional Payment

As we approach January 2012 when CMS will enforce mandatory reporting by insurance carriers for liability settlements, do not be surprised if more insurance carriers delay issuing payment until Medicare’s interests have been satisfied.  Insurers are concerned, and rightly so, that they will be held responsible by CMS for repayment of Medicare’s conditional payment under…

CMS Releases New Memorandum Providing Guidance on Exception to Liability Medicare Set Aside

On September 30, 2011, CMS issued a new memorandum concerning liability Medicare set-aside arrangements. The memorandum states that Medicare’s interests will have been considered in a liability insurance settlements and awards if the treating physician for the plaintiff opines in writing that: the plaintiff has completed treatment by the date of the settlement: future medical…

Court Approves Structured Settlement for a Minor That Extends Beyond the Age of Majority

The Fifth District Court of Appeals has reversed a trial court’s ruling that it could not approve a structured settlement proposal for a minor.  In Hancock v. Share (Case No. 5D10-2069) the minor’s Mother was appointed her Guardian. The Guardian petitioned the Court for approval of the proposed settlement and purchase of the structured settlement payable over…

A Settlement Which Needed To Be Protected By A Special Needs Trust (SNT)

If you have ever had a settlement which needed to be protected by a special needs trust (SNT) then you probably know that federal law requires the Medicaid lien to be repaid at the death of the beneficiary.  No one has a crystal ball to forecast the size of the Medicaid lien or, the value…

All Special Needs Trusts are Not Created Equal: Buyer Beware!

For those unfamiliar with the complex nature of government benefits and the laws governing special needs trusts (SNTs) it might be assumed that it is a ‘forms practice.’  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Draft the SNT correctly the first time and the benefit is a happy client who maintains eligibility for government benefits…

Florida’s Proposed Medicaid Reform: Stop It In Its Tracks!

There are three bills pending in the Florida Legislature concerning Medicaid reform. Each of them contain flaws and demonstrate that our representatives and the Governor do not understand or appreciate the necessity for an improved health care system or, why families should not be impoverished to provide basic medical care to their loved one. 1.…

Another Interpretation of the Ahlborn Decision Limiting the Medicaid Liability Lien

The Arizona Court of Appeals has ruled that the state Medicaid agency can recover no more than the portion of the Plaintiff’s settlement that represents recovery of Medicaid payment made less costs of litigation. Southwest Fiduciary v. Willingham. The case consolidated two case. Rhonda Lundy was injured in a car accident and her conservator filed suit.…

Law Office of Stephanie L. Schneider, P.A.
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