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In 2006, the United States Supreme Court made a unanimous decision in Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services v. Ahlborn, finding that, under the anti-lien restrictions of the Social Security Act, states had a right to recover only from the portion of a settlement or award that was allocated to medical expenses. Congress made an unexpected reversal to this U.S. Supreme Court decision that may have a substantial impact on Medicaid beneficiaries who recover on a personal injury claim.
Congress negated this decision by including language in the recent federal budget agreement giving states the right to recover from Medicaid beneficiaries’ entire settlements or awards and the right to place a lien on those settlements or awards. The changes first became public in December of 2013 without warning, and thus, advocates were unprepared to mount their opposition.
This change is scheduled to go into effect on October 1, 2014. Due to the extensive consequences this legislation could have, it is important for Medicaid beneficiaries to know how these changes could affect their personal injury settlement or award. If you or a loved one needs assistance with navigating this issue, please contact us at (803)787-0557.

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