Attorney Did Not Establish Good Cause for Failure to Provide Information to Support Medicaid Application

A New York appeals court rules that the state properly denied a Medicaid application for failure to provide requested information even though the applicant’s attorney argued several life events had prevented him from responding to the request for information. Blandford v. New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (N.Y. Sup. Ct., App. Div., 4th Dept., No. TP 21-00357, Nov. 12, 2021).

Margaret Blandford applied for Medicaid benefits in November 2016. The state sent four letters to Ms. Blandford requesting additional information. In response to the first three letters, Ms. Blandford’s attorney provided some, but not all, of the documents requested. The attorney did not respond to the final letter sent on May 10, 2017. The state denied Ms. Blandford’s application on May 27, 2017.

Ms. Blandford appealed. At a hearing, her attorney claimed that several events had prevented him from responding to the May 10, 2017, letter: his office flooded, he had skin cancer removed, and he was travelling overseas when the letter arrived. The state upheld the denial of benefits, finding that the attorney was back from his travels by May 16th, but still did not submit the information. Ms. Blandford appealed.

The New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Forth Department, affirms, holding that substantial evidence supports the state’s finding that Ms. Blandford did not “establish good cause for the failure to provide the eligibility documentation in response to [the state’s] repeated requests for information.”

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