Prove citizenship when applying for MedicaidMedicaid offers a way to acquire necessary coverage for major healthcare services or expensive around-the-clock care at a nursing home. One part of the process can easily trip up applicants in New York, however, whether you were born abroad or are a life-long NY resident. To get the benefits you need, you’ll first have to provide physical proof that you are either a U.S. citizen or a qualified alien.

Proving Citizenship to Receive Medicaid Benefits

The Medicaid citizenship requirement was set in place in 2006 and remains active today. That means you have to provide documentation proving your eligibility either at the time of first applying, or in some cases a year later when eligibility is redetermined. After that point, citizenship documentation is typically no longer necessary to continue receiving benefits.

The easiest way to prove your citizenship status is with a valid and active (non-expired) driver’s license or a passport. Unfortunately, that requires a good deal of planning ahead by not allowing your driver’s license or passport to expire, even if you have no plans to drive in New York or travel outside the country anytime in the future. 

While it can slow down the application process, the good news is that other forms of evidence are accepted if you don’t currently have a valid driver’s license. With the help of an attorney, you can also submit documentation like:

  • Adoption records
  • Birth certificate
  • Certificate of naturalization or citizenship 
  • Hospital records
  • Life or health insurance records
  • Military documentation or draft records
  • Report of a U.S. citizen birth abroad 
  • School photo ID 
  • State-issued or some other government ID
  • Tribal card
  • U.S. passport

The state of New York utilizes three tiers of acceptable documentation for establishing citizenship when seeking healthcare coverage through Medicaid. Primary sources like your driver’s license, passport, or certificate of citizenship make up the top tier and require no further proof. However, if you use a second-tier item like a tribal ID or a third-tier document like hospital letterhead, you will typically need to provide multiple forms of proof to get approval.

Get Help From an Experienced New York Medicaid Planning Lawyer

No matter where you were born or what ID you have available, it’s important to consult a Medicaid planning attorney as soon as you or a loved one need coverage. When you have the proper documents, your attorney can help you apply for Medicaid at the right time to maximize benefits and put the least financial strain on your family. Call Alatsas Law Firm today if you need help with the Medicaid approval process.

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