Relying on Word-of-Mouth
The most common pitfall that individuals experience when it comes to Long Term Care is relying on the information of other people. It is certainly understandable that you want to ask family or friends who have gone through the process what it was like and how they managed it. Alternatively, you may seek out the advice of a someone at a nursing home. While these individuals may be the most convenient sources of information, they can also end up being the costliest.
Work with an Elder Law Attorney
You owe it to yourself, and your family, to seek the advice of an experienced Elder Law attorney. Do not assume that just because someone works in a nursing home, or even works for the State, that he/she knows and understands Medicaid. Some of the brightest judges in the country have described Medicaid as a program that is "incomprehensible for the uninitiated". We repeatedly hear misstatements regarding the law from every source, even employees of the Department of Human Services (the agency that administers Medicaid in Pennsylvania).
The Word on the Street
- "They’re going to take my home.”
- “They'll take everything I have.”
- “Medicare stops paying because you're not improving.”
- “If you sell the house you have to give them all the money."
These are just a few of the statements we hear from people every day. The biggest problem you will face when caught in the long term care system is someone telling you what you can and cannot do. More often than not, that person will be wrong. For example, Medicaid law states that a person can apply for Medicaid and that he/she will be allowed to keep his or her home. Yet, people are often told by someone that they must sell the house. If you do not question or challenge the person giving you this information, you will end up doing as they say, even though it is contrary to the law.
How We Can Help
Having an attorney from Zacharia Brown as your advocate is a necessity in the field of long term care. In almost every case, there will be money that must be spent before you can qualify for benefits such as Medicaid. Your first expenditure should be for an attorney who knows the system, will be your voice, and look out for your best interests.