Behind the Scenes: A Day in the Life of a Public Benefits Specialist

What’s a typical day like for a public benefits specialist in a Life Care Planning Law Firm? Get a glimpse behind the scenes in this hour-by-hour look.

What does a public benefits specialist in a Life Care Planning Firm actually do? To answer this question, we consulted Joshua Bey from Takacs McGinnis Elder Care Law, PLLC, a Life Care Planning Firm in suburban Nashville, Tennessee. Joshua came to Takacs McGinnis with experience on the inside of TennCare, Tennessee’s Medicaid system, where he evaluated applicants for Medicaid, and determined financial and technical eligibility for nursing home Medicaid benefits.  

8:30 a.m.

Shortly after Joshua arrives at the Takacs McGinnis office, the staff gathers for the firm’s morning meeting. The agenda includes a review of the day’s calendar and a discussion of who will be visiting.

8:45 a.m.

After checking his email and passing along client information to TennCare, Joshua returns phone calls and emails before the first client meeting of the day.  

9:00 a.m. 

Joshua sits in on an initial meeting with an elderly woman and her family caregivers. The family is hoping that TennCare will pick up the tab for the woman’s stay in a memory care unit. After the family decides to purchase a Life Care Plan, Joshua explains the phases of the TennCare process. He takes them through the application and then creates a personalized checklist of tasks the family caregivers must complete. 

11:00 a.m. 

Joshua heads back to his office. He calls the elderly woman’s nursing home to let them know that Takacs McGinnis will be filing a Medicaid application on her behalf.  He gives the nursing home an estimated patient liability figure, requests a pre-admission evaluation, and collects other information related to the woman’s case. Then, it’s back to the phone and email. At this point in the day, there are usually half a dozen voice mails and as many emails that need his attention.

12:00 p.m.

Joshua joins other staff members in the firm’s kitchen to eat lunch brought in from a local restaurant.

1 p.m.

Joshua returns to his desk to scan in asset verification documents, along with other information that needs to go to TennCare. Joshua creates spend-down checklists for clients, and then contacts them to discuss what they need to do next.

1:30 p.m.

On many days, there’s a second initial meeting with a prospective client in the afternoon. Today, however, there’s a gap in the schedule, giving Joshua the opportunity to go over each client’s case and check for tasks that need to be completed. Joshua is the steward of each client’s TennCare application, owning it from the day it’s filed until the day it’s approved.

2:00 pm

Today’s schedule includes a post-eligibility conference with the son of an elderly man whose TennCare application was approved several years ago. The son wants to make sure his father remains eligible for TennCare. During the meeting, Joshua reviews the changes and explains what action is needed.

3:30 p.m.

Joshua heads back to his desk. The phone rings. It’s the daughter of an elderly client who just received a bill from the nursing home. She’s not sure how to handle it. She emails the bill to Joshua and he forwards it to TennCare.

5:00 p.m.

Joshua sends one final email, and then prepares to head home for the day. As he packs up his laptop, he reflects on the tasks of the day, grateful for the opportunity to do work he loves in an environment where everyone has a passion for what they do.