A court in Connecticut ruled that the administrator of an estate lacked standing to appeal the denial of an application for Medicaid benefits because no appeal of the denial was filed before the decedent died.  Freese v. Department of Social Services (Conn. Super. Ct., No. CV14-6047417S, June 1, 2015).

Plaintiff, Kathleen Freese, claimed that the defendant, Department of Social Services (“DSS”), erred in finding her deceased mother, Noreen Mccusker, ineligible for Medicaid. Ms. Freeze was her mother’s conservator when her mother was alive. After her mother died, plaintiff was appointed administrator of her mother’s estate. Plaintiff filed a Medicaid appeal on her deceased mother’s behalf approx. one month before she was appointed administrator.

DSS challenged Ms. Freese’s standing to sue on her mother’s behalf, asserting that nothing in the law authorized a conservator to sue in a deceased person’s place, and that Ms. Freese had not been appointed administrator of her mother’s estate when she filed the appeal.  Ms. Freese countered that any defect in her standing to file the appeal could be cured by substituting her into the pending lawsuit in her capacity as administrator of her mother’s estate retroactively to the date the appeal was filed.

The Connecticut Superior Court, Judicial District of Fairfield at Bridgeport, disagreed. The court dismissed plaintiff’s complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, holding that Ms. McCusker was the real party in interest and, because she died before appealing the denial of Medicaid benefits, her estate’s administrator lacked standing to sue in her place.

For the full text of this decision, click here – Freese v. Department of Social Services

For additional information concerning Medicaid applications and appeals, visit: https://vanarellilaw.com/medicaid-applications-medicaid-appeals/