Medicaid Applicant’s Accounts Are Available Asset Despite Guardian’s Difficulty in Accessing Them

A New Jersey appeals court rules that a Medicaid applicant’s guardian did not prove that the applicant’s cognitive impairment and the difficulty in getting information about the applicant’s accounts and property rendered the applicant’s resources unavailable. H.R. v. Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services (N.J. Super. Ct., App. Div., No. A-2996-17T1).

H.R. had several bank accounts and owned property when he entered a nursing home. The nursing home filed a petition for a guardian for him due to his cognitive impairment. Once the court appointed a guardian, the guardian filed a Medicaid application on H.R.’s behalf, identifying H.R.’s property and bank accounts. H.R. died while the application was pending. The state denied the Medicaid application due to excess resources.

The guardian appealed the denial, arguing that H.R.’s cognitive impairment, death, and the state of his property along with the delay in issuing letters of guardianship and the guardian's difficulty receiving information from financial institutions, rendered H.R.'s resources unavailable. The state denied the appeal, and the guardian appealed to court.

The New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division, affirms the denial of benefits. According to the court, the guardian knew about H.R.’s bank accounts before the application, and even if the bank account was inaccessible, H.R.’s property put him over the resource limit.

For the full text of this decision, go to:

H.R. and the guardian were represented by Cowart Dizzia LLP, “a virtual, cloud-based, multi-jurisdictional practice” that includes providing “smart solutions for long-term care providers.”

Did you know that the ElderLawAnswers database now contains summaries of more than 2,000 fully searchable elder law decisions dating back to 1993? To search the database, click here.