August 26, 2015 Linda Strohschein, Principal Attorney for Strohschein Law Group, testified to help improve proposed regulations by the Illinois Department of Human Services, Bureau of Appeals and Hearings.
Linda is the Immediate Past President for the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc. (NAELA). This non-profit organization offered practical ideas and suggestions on the current and proposed appeals process practiced by the Department of Human Services.
Members of NAELA routinely represent various persons in the Medicaid application process such as seniors, those applying for benefits on behalf of an indigent or disabled person, the disabled person himself, the spouse of a disabled person, nursing homes that a disabled person resides in, and many other third-party representatives. Testimony by the members included concerns and proposed solutions to avoid adversarial process when applicants are applying for benefits and essentially increasing the need to hire attorneys to comply with an increasingly difficult set of rules.
Secondly, the members testified that the “Proposed Rules” violated due process. Similar rule changes were already struck down by the United States Supreme Court based on Goldberg v. Kelly, 397 U.S. 254 (1970).
Hopefully, with this set of proposed revisions backed by active practicing elder law attorneys the DHS will reconsider what is best for the applicant who needs their benefits to work for them in the time of need and avoid undue stress during the process.
Stay tuned for the outcome.