It depends on the state rules around retroactive benefits. Some states allow Medicaid recipients to receive retroactive benefits for up to three months before the date of the application. Other states have limited retroactive benefits. To find out the rules in your state, contact an elder law attorney. To find one near you, click here. If it is allowed, you would need to open probate on the family member’s estate so that you have legal authority to act on behalf of the decedent.