With 17,000 Georgians cut off from Medicaid, calling for help seems difficult

Georgia Medicaid recipients: What to do if your benefits were cut off

State officials have advised 17,000 Medicaid patients that it dropped from its rolls recently to reapply. But they’re not making it easy. Below are some information and resources for those who believe their benefits were cut in error.

> Read the news story: 17,000 Georgians cut off from Medicaid face messy bureaucracy

WHAT TO DO

Whatever you do, act quickly. 

State offices 

If you believe you have been cut off from Medicaid in error, the state Department of Community Health says you have 10 days to appeal the decision. After that, the DCH says you can apply within 90 days for renewal at the local office that serves your county — that will be a Department of Family and Children Services office, not a DCH office. 

The main customer service number for Medicaid is 1-877-423-4746. County offices have their own phone numbers, listed at https://dfcs.georgia.gov/locations

Outside lawyers say it can matter a lot, though, whether a person reapplies or instead appeals for renewal. An application can take much longer and requires the person to gather all his or her documents again. 

Outside legal help 

To get help with that, even the DCH and DFCS tell people in notices that if they believe they are wronged, they can call specific legal offices. The offices don’t take every case. But they do take cases where it looks like the state has done something wrong and the lawyers can help fix it and make a difference. 

One group of lawyers helps people in parts of metro Atlanta, and the other group helps people in the rest of the state. 

Atlanta Legal Aid 

Atlanta Legal Aid helps people in these counties: 

Cobb County: 770-528-2565 

DeKalb County: 404-377-0701 

Fulton County: 404-524-5811 

Gwinnett County: 678-407-6469 

South Fulton and Clayton counties: 404-669-0233 

Georgia Legal Services Program 

Georgia Legal Services helps people in all the other counties. 

1-800-498-9469 

The lawyers’ quick tips 

To appeal termination: 

1. Take a copy of the termination notice to your local DFCS office, along with the paper that talks about fair hearings and appeals. 

2. Tell DFCS you want to file an appeal. 

3. Fill out the appeal section on the notice or ask for a form to write a fair hearing request, and turn it in to the DFCS office. 

4. You can ask to speak to a DFCS worker directly to file your appeal. If you leave any documents with them, make a note of the name of the person you gave the documents to, the time and the date. Keep that note for your records.

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