Tips When Obtaining a Recovery for a Client On Medicaid and SSI
This month’s ‘Tips and Tales’ focuses on what needs to be done before distributing proceeds to a client who receives Medicaid or SSI benefits. Feel free to use this checklist in your office:
- At inception of the lawsuit ask the client whether he/she receives Medicaid, SSI, Food Stamps, HUD housing (or other financially sensitive government benefits). Document your file.
- Request a copy of the client’s benefit notice(s).
- Repeat steps 1 and 2 throughout the litigation and at time of mediation, settlement or, trial.
- Advise the client in writing that receipt of the net proceeds can impact continued eligibility for government benefits and you recommend that the client obtain advice from a specialist. Ask the client to acknowledge in writing receipt of the letter. Read the Grillo case which held a trial attorney liable for malpractice for failing to inform the client that her daughter would lose Medicaid and SSI as a result of receiving the settlement proceeds.
- Recommend that the client explore the option (pros and cons), with a board certified elder law attorney, of staying on government benefits compared to voluntarily terminating government benefits and purchasing a private health insurance policy.
- Document your file with the elder law attorney’s opinion letter so that if the client chooses to risk losing his/her government benefits you will have done all that you are required to do.
We are your Trusted Planning Advisor through Life.℠