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New Jersey Medicaid – More Grey than Black and White

As an elder law attorney, when clients come to us for guidance on long term care and government benefit programs such as Medicaid, I often must first explain how much uncertainty there is.  That is a difficult concept for many because we have been taught to believe that the law is well defined, clear cut, black and white.

There are, however, many grey areas, when it comes to Medicaid, and specifically New Jersey Medicaid.  Elder law attorneys must be careful when advising clients.  In so many instances, we guide our clients based on what we have done for other clients in the past.  However Medicaid law is a constantly changing landscape so we are continuously in tune with what is happening on a county, state and national level.  Changes can come from Congress or the New Jersey legislature.  Change can also come from the Medicaid office in Trenton, in terms of their policies and practices, or from the policies and practices employed by the various county Boards of Social Services (CBOSS) that process the applications.  As we often explain to clients, differences exist from county to county and even from caseworker to caseworker in terms of how particular aspects of the rules are treated.  What they do in Essex County may be very different than what they do in Bergen County or in Morris County.  An application with a particular issue may have been approved 6 months ago in Union County but now may be denied because of a new internal policy.  It shouldn’t be this way but that is the reality.

For more information, email us at and type in  “Consumer’s Guide to New Jersey Medicaid” and we’ll email you our Consumer’s Guide in pdf format.