Can't I just apply for Medicaid on my own? Absolutely.
There's nothing in the law that says you haveto hire somebody to help you.
If you don't have anything that needs to beprotected, if you're, basically, already broke, that's the kind of person the Medicaid system'sdesigned to help, then you don't necessarily need an attorney to help you, unless you'veviolated any of Medicaid's rules that you didn't even know anything about that they'regoing to apply, retroactively, five years from the date that you apply that Medicaidapplication.
So, some examples of that would be, if anything'sbeen given away in the last five years.
If something was sold for less than Medicaidsaid it should have been sold for.
An example of that would be Medicaid saysour house isn't worth whatever the county auditor says they're worth.
That's at least where Medicaid starts, untilwe move them off that position.
So, if the county auditor says your houseis worth $150,000, and you sold it for 120,000, because that's all it was really worth, Medicaidsays you should have got 150 instead of 120,000, and that difference of 30,000, Medicare treatsas a gift, or an improper transfer, and penalizes you.
There's a lot of things we look at to decideif somebody needs our assistance, and, what I would say is, if you don't have any assetsand you've not violated any of Medicaid's rules in the last five years, then you probablydon't need us and you can fill out the application on your own.
Frankly, the application part's the simplepart.
[inaudible 00:01:41] will often tell familieswhen the person gets close to spinning down the assets, we'll help you fill out the application.
The harder part, where you need somebody likemyself, is figuring out what are the rules? What are we allowed to hold on to? And did we violate any of the rules that wedidn't even know about in the last five years? That's what we help folks with.
So, we do the application for them, but that'sreally not a big deal, the application's pretty simple by itself, but it's all the other thingswhere people can get in trouble if they try to do it on their own.