Does Applying for Medicaid on an Incapacitated Person’s Behalf Require a Guardianship?

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann, a Freehold, NJ Medicaid Application Attorney

Consider the following hypothetical situation. Mother is in a nursing home and is mentally and physically incapacitated. She has advanced vascular dementia. She has no more money left and needs to apply for Medicaid. Her daughter does not have a power of attorney or a guardianship in place. She intends to supply the information requested by Medicaid for the application. Is it necessary for her to have a guardianship for her before she can receive Medicaid?

That’s a good question and the answer is “maybe”. Some facilities just want someone to file the Medicaid application so they can get paid and really don’t care about a power of attorney or guardianship. Others are more demanding. While it may depend on your county’s Medicaid office, the real question is whether you can get them the information they need and gain access to her funds to pay her monthly income to the nursing home. If you’re able to accomplish this without being appointed guardian, it shouldn’t be necessary for purposes of Medicaid. However, the facility may still want someone to become guardian in order to make health care decisions for your mother. Your situation is a prime example of why I urge everyone to execute a durable power of attorney and health care directive.

To discuss your NJ Medicaid application, power of attorney or guardianship questions, please contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or email him at Please ask us about our video conferencing consultations if you are unable to come to our office.