UPDATE: As of April 29, 2015 veterans and their widows who have been denied Medicaid benefits due to VA pension or assistance can now reapply. In late 2014, Williams Cedar attorneys successfully resolved the case. Judge Robert Kugler issued an opinion in support of the case filed on behalf of New Jersey veterans and their widows, ordering the New Jersey Department of Human Services to disregard the VA payments when reviewing Medicaid eligibility.
New Jersey veterans and their widows who have been denied Medicaid benefits due to VA benefits are urged to reapply.
Edith Gartzman, a 91 year old resident of an assisted living facility in New Jersey was denied Medicaid benefits as a result of receiving a veterans pension – putting her just $136 over the income eligibility limit. The denial will result in her having to move out of her assisted living home. WCB filed suit on her behalf seeking to enjoin the New Jersey Department of Human Services (“NJDHS”) from including as “countable income” her Veterans Administration Improved Pension benefit pursuant to 38 U.S.C. 1541(d)(1) for unreimbursed medical expenses, in determining her eligibility for Medicaid benefits. WCB alleges that NJDHS is improperly denying Medicaid benefits to the plaintiff (and other similarly situated New Jersey residents) based on an inflated determination of her income that counts veteran’s benefits that are specifically earmarked for medical expenses and thus do not constitute income under federal Medicaid. The case, filed by partners Jerry Williams and Alan Sklarsky is currently pending before U.S. District Court Judge Robert Kugler.
The case is Galletta, Stoller, Bova Barbagallo individually and on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, plaintiffs v. Jennifer Velez, Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Human Services, et al. defendants.
U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, Camden Vicinage, Civil Order No. 13-532 (RBK/AMD) June 3, 2014 ORDER of the Hon. Robert R. Kugler.
U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, Camden Vicinage, Civil Action Docket No. 1:13-cv-00532, February 10, 2015 CONSENT ORDER of the Hon. Robert B. Kugler and the Hon. Ann Marie Donio.