Medicaid and gifting.

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A little over a year ago, my 92 year old mother gifted my 2 adult children $10,000 each. Shortly after that, she had a stroke and has been in a care home ever since. In the next few months, we will be applying for Medicad for her care home costs. Will medicaid be ok with the gifting of the $20,000?

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Probably not. It sounds like your mother has (or had) significant assets, and giving away cash is going to be an issue.

The medicaid looks at it is this: if you gave away or sold cash, property (real estate or vehicles) or assets with significant value (jewelry), then you should be able to afford to pay for your care. They are taking over the cost of your mother's care, so they will want to know why she can't pay for it herself and will want proof of her income, value of her assets, and a list of any assets she has divested over the past few years. In some cases, they will look back 5 years.

I would discuss this matter with an elder law attorney to be sure you are doing the right thing for Mom - if she has significant assets, she will need to be careful how they are used to avoid being disqualified for Medicaid. You are allowed 1 vehicle, 1 home (your primary residence) and $2000 a month in assets - that's it. Anything else has to be spent down before Medicaid will kick in and cover anything - so if your mom, for example, has $8,000 a month in assets or income, $6000 of that will have to be spent down - and you will have to provide proof of the spend down - before Medicaid will do anything at all.
Actually she does not have a lot of assets. $1500 a month income from SS and my dads pension. In a few months savings will be less than 2000. The $20,000 she gifted to my children was from an annuity that my dad left her 15 years ago when he passed away. His verbal instructions was to give it to their grand children.
This is definitely something that needs to be discussed with an elder law attorney. If the money was left to your mother, then it was in her name, and she is the one who gifted it, whether she was following your father's wishes or doing it on her own. Medicaid will see it as her asset, not your dad's, if it was in her name.

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