The 3 Steps to Applying for Medicaid

Prior to applying for Medicaid, you should consult an attorney to explore planning opportunities, but especially if you are married or have given away any assets or transferred ownership of any of your assets for less than fair market value within the last 5 years.  Moreover, please be advised that applying too early or too late for Medicaid could cost you thousands of dollars. 


1. Application (additional application is required for Waiver programs) 

You must file an application with the Department of Job and Family Services in the county where you reside, or if you are in a nursing home, the county where your nursing home is located.

2. Level of Care Assessment

An in-person assessment will be performed by a licensed professional of your ability to perform typical daily tasks of your own. 

For example, you would qualify if you require hands-on assistance with two Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) or hands-on assistance with one ADL and you are unable to self-administer medication or due to cognitive impairment, the presence of another person on a 24 hour basis is required.

 ADLs include bathing, grooming, toileting, dressing and eating.

3. Interview

An interview will be conducted with the applicant or authorized representative where you must produce verification of age and citizenship, resources, income, medical expenses, household expenses.

A great deal of documentation will be needed.  It is a good idea to start collecting the necessary documentation as soon as you are even thinking about applying, as a failure to provide it to the agency in a timely manner could result in your application being delayed or denied. 

The following list is a good place to start:

1.)        Social Security Card

2.)        Proof of Identity (ie. driver’s license, state identification card, etc.)

3.)        Proof of Age (ie. driver’s license, birth certificate, marriage certificate, etc.)

4.)        Proof of Residence (ie. deed, rent receipt, etc.)

5.)        Last receipts for utilities, home insurance and property taxes (gas, electric, etc.)

6.)        Proof of Citizenship (not required if you are receiving SSI or Medicare)

7.)        Proof of Income (social security benefit letter, pension statements, etc.)

8.)        Proof of Assets (bank statements, copies of stock certificates and bonds, etc.)

9.)        Information on any Insurance Policies

10.)     Medicare Card

11.)     Medicare Supplement Card

12.)     Trust Agreements

13.)     Tax Returns (ideally from the last five years) 

For information on what to  expect after your application is submitted see