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Maryland Public Benefits Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support, Public Benefits and Family Law for Maryland on
Q: How to get custody of child that have been in my care for 7yrs no legal paperwork state of Maryland gives me run around
James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Dec 31, 2023

In Maryland, if you have been caring for a child for seven years without legal paperwork, you may consider filing for legal guardianship or custody. This is especially pertinent if you have been the primary caregiver and the biological parents are not involved or unable to care for the child.... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Employment Law, Public Benefits and Social Security for Maryland on
Q: My husband died 5years ago he worked for opm when he retired he did not select the spouce benefit for me what can I do .
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Mar 19, 2023

When a married federal employee retires and claims their benefits, they have to choose whether to take a full or partial survivor benefit- or waive the survivor annuity altogether. To take a reduced benefit, or waive it, their spouse (you) must consent by signing a waiver that is included in the... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Public Benefits for Maryland on
Q: How do I properly spend down funds to keep ssi/medicaid?

Good Evening,

My mother who receives medicaid and SSI saved up assets due to the fact that she moved into subsidized housing which only charged her 200 a month for rent. She currently has about 10k saved up in her account which is over the asset limit and I'm trying to spend the money... View More

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Dec 25, 2022

You may find this article helpful, although it is a bit dated (2011) and laws change:

To clear the whole amount you might purchase a special bed for her, one...
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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Public Benefits and Small Claims for Maryland on
Q: Can I sue president of my organization if he goes contrary to our constitution to remove members who do not support him?

We are a membership organization of about 20 members. The president who goes contrary to our constitution removed about 9 members who oppose his leadership style. We have funds that belongs to all of us and we all need to affect the use of this fund even if we exit the organization as he wants. Our... View More

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Sep 3, 2021

Take the organization constitution to a lawyer to review, and evaluate your legal options, as well as actions you can take under the constitution, such as calling a special meeting, holding a new election, removal of the president, etc., whatever the provisions allow. Recourse to the courts... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Employment Law and Public Benefits for Maryland on
Q: Employer claiming breach of contract on bogus claims and withholding wages. How do I proceed?

After submitting a two-week notice, my employer claims I have breached my employment contract on largely bogus claims. He has also withheld a previous paycheck. I was given an impossible number of tasks to complete during my final two weeks, and he is claiming not completing these tasks is a breach... View More

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing
answered on Jun 21, 2021

If you are an employee, you can file for unemployment comp alleging a change in work conditions.

As to at will employment--that's what everyone is. He can't withold wages for work done. Take his advice and call a wage-hour attorney,

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Public Benefits for Maryland on
Q: Can HOA starts making rules for no smoking but specify to start on one building first?

All owners of this building are non smokers. There are smokers in all other buildings. All buildings are stand alone. Thanks.

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing
answered on Jun 18, 2021

It doesn't make sense but If you are a non smoker the next issue is are you harmed? Courts have a doctrine that they don't look at theoretical , abstract concepts of harm.

However start by asking them why, get as much on the record as far as their reasons. Look at the HOA...
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1 Answer | Asked in Gov & Administrative Law and Public Benefits for Maryland on
Q: Been turned down for a Md state ID. Desperately need to open a checking account. Living in a hotel and no resources

I have been living in a hotel since 12/20/20 and I need to get a state ID to cash an insurance claim check. I moved from Ohio and my purse was stolen with a few other items right as I was leaving. I have acquired another birth certificate since. I have had several items mailed to me here, at the... View More

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Apr 5, 2021

Not much anyone can do in three days time. The ID proof requirements are set forth on the MVA website:

The MVA requires appointments during COVID, and you do not receive your ID card on the spot anymore for security reasons....
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law, Public Benefits and Social Security for Maryland on
Q: 64, disabled, and on SSI and Medicare/Medicaid. About to inherit about $50,000. How can I avoid losing benefits?

Dad's original will set up a Special Needs Trust with all funds just for me. He later amended the will so funds are immediately disbursed among each of the children. I think I'm in a bind and don't want to lose my only income source as well as my health insurance due to having... View More

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Oct 7, 2020

You are legally allowed to direct a gift or inheritance into a special needs trust, without receiving it directly yourself. You can have such a trust created when the time comes to receive the inheritance, or if one already exists, you can direct the funds into the existing special needs trust. Not... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Real Estate Law, Estate Planning and Public Benefits for Maryland on
Q: My father recently passed and had a TIC Property with my stepmother. Who is responsible for mortgage

Property owned TIC by father and stepmother. Father dies. House sells for 600k with 200k Mortgage. Is mortgage responsibility of Entire estate, or is wife solely responsible?

I.e. should we pay mortgage from the 600k and then divide the remainder to my stepmother and my fathers heirs. Or... View More

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Dec 7, 2019

The mortgage is a lien against the property. It cannot be sold without the mortgage being paid off first out of the sale proceeds. That happens at settlement. Then the net proceeds are split evenly between the two owners of the property: 50% to the estate, 50% to your stepmother

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Public Benefits for Maryland on
Q: How can i change my daughter's last name ? she is almost 3 years old.And how long is taking to get new last name ?
Alan Solomon
Alan Solomon
answered on May 31, 2018

You need to file a petition in court to change her name and provide notice to the father. If he objects ere will be a hearing

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Public Benefits for Maryland on
Q: Is it legal for an adult son in Maryland to hold $60,000 of his mother’s money so she can get Public Assistance?

I believe an adult son living in Maryland is holding $60,000 in his account so that his mother, who lives in Virginia, can receive Public Assistance. He is also potentially claiming that those funds, although in his account, cannot be considered as an asset of his in determining child support.

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Apr 26, 2018

It can be grounds for criminal fraud, or conspiracy to defraud, on both the son's and the mother's part. Don't do it.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Personal Injury and Public Benefits for Maryland on
Q: Can i sue my supervisor if he is purposely messing up my pay

Recently got hurt on the job and went through the process of OWCP USPS is supposed to cover the first 45 days and then COP kicks in yet my supervisor and his boss are ignoring protocols(i have checked and all signs point to them)blatantly lie to me when asked about this this has put me in trouble... View More

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing
answered on Aug 16, 2016

USPS pay and injury issues are a specialty. You need to look for someone who specializes in that. Suing the supervisor directly? No for many reasons.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Public Benefits for Maryland on
Q: As a MD small business owner, how long am I responsible for an ex-employee who is getting unemployment benefits?

This employee was fired for cause but I didn't appeal unemployment action because I thought her having to repay benefits already received was too harsh. But she was working part-time somewhere else when we fired her (for consistent rudeness to customers) and she continues to work at same part... View More

Marshall Jason Ray
Marshall Jason Ray
answered on Apr 26, 2016

This actually gets pretty technical, and this answer is not comprehensive. When someone files for benefits, the wages the individual earned in the first four of the five quarters preceding the claim are used to calculate monetary eligibility and the weekly benefit amount. This is called the base... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Public Benefits for Maryland on
Q: What does the term public benefits refer to or mean?
Bernard Marcel Raiche
Bernard Marcel Raiche
answered on Feb 26, 2012

Public Benefits are benefits provided by federal, state or local governments. The most common federal benefits include Social Security retirement benefits, Social Security disability benefits (SSI and SSDI), Medicare, and Medical Assistance (a combined state and federal benefit which is also... View More

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