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.
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.
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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