Hi there, Bridget Mackay. I’m an attorney in Petaluma, and I practice in elder law. This series of blogs I’m doing relates to applying for, needing, understanding long-term care services that you can get through Medi-Cal, which I defined what that is in my first video blog. So I would check that out.

Today, I want to talk about three things you should do before you apply for long-term care Medi-Cal. If you have a loved one or a spouse or anyone who is aged over the age of 62, or disabled… And disabled, who cannot care for themselves and need 24-hour, skilled nursing home care, then this is a program you may want to take advantage of. But there are three things you should do before you do that.

The first is, and maybe all three of them should be this, but you should consult with an attorney who practices in this area because the rules and regulations are both local, state and federal and they intertwine. And to a person who doesn’t know anything about it, they’re very confusing and mistakes, as you’ll see in my next blog, can be very costly.

The second is if you are applying and you think you meet all the criteria because you’ve done some research on the internet, you should have that application reviewed by someone who practices in this area. Not all estate planning attorneys do long-term care Medi-Cal, or Medi-Cal benefits planning, that’s another term we use for it. So get help with filling out the application, or in the very least have your application reviewed, and make sure you have the right documents that go with that application before you submit it to the Welfare department. Otherwise your application can be lost and take a very long time to be approved.

The third thing is not only having your application filled out or with the help of someone else, preferably an attorney who practices in this area, but also definitely have that application reviewed. I know I said that under number two, but I can’t emphasize it enough. When you apply for this program you need to do it correctly and there are boxes to check and not check, and there is evidence that the Welfare department will want to accompany that application. And if you don’t understand the system, you can really get yourself or your loved one in trouble, and it could be very costly to them.

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