On appeal from the Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services, OAL Docket No. HMA 9620-03.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Argued telephonically February 13, 2008
Before Judges A.A. Rodríguez and C.S. Fisher.
In this appeal, we affirm the decision of the Director of the Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services (DMAHS) which imposed a period of ineligibility in Medicaid benefits paid on behalf of appellant A.H.'s parents and which, as a result, required A.H.'s repayment to the State Treasurer of $67,792.
The facts are not complicated. The record reveals that A.H. applied for Medicaid benefits for his father in March 2002. The application was initially denied, but A.H. reapplied and his father was found eligible retroactive to the original application date.
A few months later, A.H. obtained, with a power of attorney, a $85,200 mortgage loan on his parents' condominium. The lender issued a check to A.H., payable to his parents, in the amount of $83,355.32, which A.H. deposited into bank accounts in their names (the bank accounts). Less than a month later, A.H. wrote himself a check in the amount of $35,000 from these funds. The next day, A.H. applied for institutional Medicaid benefits for his mother without disclosing her ownership interest in the bank accounts. Had A.H. made a full disclosure, a period of ineligibility on the benefits would have been imposed.
In the months that followed, A.H. wrote checks to himself from the bank accounts in the total amount of $24,250. On June 13, 2003, the Bergen County Board of Social Services advised A.H. that his parents' condominium was considered a non-liquid resource and, because A.H. had failed to submit and comply with a plan of liquidation, his parents' benefits would be terminated effective September 30, 2003. A.H. requested a hearing and elected to continue his parents' receipt of benefits during the appeal process.
A hearing was conducted by an administrative law judge (ALJ), who found from the stipulated facts and the evidence he found credible that the total resources of A.H.'s parents exceeded the resource standard, thus requiring the imposition of a ten-month penalty period and the repayment of $67,792. The Director adopted the findings and conclusions of the ALJ.
In appealing the Director's final agency decision, A.H. argues:
I. [THE ALJ] CONDUCTED SETTLEMENT DISCUSSIONS AND IS PRECLUDED BY STATUTE FROM HEARING THE CASE.
II. [A.H.] OUGHT NOT TO BE PERSONALLY LIABLE FOR THE MONEY USED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ...