My 86-year-old grandmother needs to be put in a nursing home, but doesn't qualify for Medicaid because she has a CD with my tax ID. What can I do?

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I'm a little confused about the ownership of the CD. If the money that was used to purchase the CD was your mother's, and her name was never on it, then at the time it was purchased she was making a gift to you. If both her name and your name are on it, then it is a joint account. The Medicaid rule regarding joint accounts is as follows: There is a presumption that the entire account is owned by the Medicaid applicant, except to the extent that you can prove that the co-owner contributed any funds to the amount used to purchase the CD.

So the initial question is, whose money is in the CD? If indeed it is all your mother's money, and her name is still on the title, then it will be counted as HER money for Medicaid purposes (regardless of whose tax i.d. number is used). At that point, you need to figure out how to spend down the funds so she can quickly qualify. That's a whole other discussion!

If her name was never on the CD and it was therefore a gift, then whether it will count against her for Medicaid purposes depends on the date the CD was purchased. If it was done before Feb. 8, 2006, then it is out of reach for Medicaid purposes and you're home free. If it was after that date, then it can be counted against her for a period of 5 years. The state will figure her penalty period starting on the date she applies for Medicaid.

So before I go any further, let me know which situation applies.

I know about these things since I advised clients about Medicaid planning as an elder law attorney for 25 years. See my bio for the book I authored on this very topic! Thanks.
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KSue....

I am, of course, unfamiliar with the particulars, but your mom owning her home should not be an impediment to Medicaid qualification.

And, if your sister pays fair market rent in an arms length transaction, ownership of that home should not be an impediment either.
Isn't that we are saving for -- to pay for care in our old age? It would be nice to leave assets to family, but what ever happened to being honest and paying for services we need -- until we truly are broke and needy.
If her name is on it, it is considered her asset. Joint does not preclude being counted by Medicare. It will be difficult, if not impossible to convince Medicare to ignore it.

Sorry to hear your trouble, but now that the economy is down States are really cracking down on people trying to shield money and qualify for Medicare.
If it has been in your name less than 5 years it has to be cashed in for her care to be able for her to get medicaide you may get her into a nursing home with medicaide pending and the social worker will have to do the application you can give them any documation you can supply but do not let them make you do it -it is daunting to say the least and she can use money from the CD or any other money she has to prepay her funeral-after she spends down she will get medicaide and the nursing home will get it done very fast because they want to get her money including social security and pensions insurance-if she gave you any assests longer than 5 years ago they are safe from the nursing home-everyone needs to get these things done when they are younger because you never know when your health will get bad,
Yup, an IRREVOCABLE prepaid funeral, and I believe a car. Don't know how the car gets in there, you'd have to check it out with your own state's medicaid dept. Other than that, any assets given away within 5 yrs of application are theirs and the gov't expects them to spend it all before they are eligible for medicaid. It sucks.
If your tax ID is used, then you pay the taxes on it which sounds to me like you own the CD. When this CD was created, did you sign it or did she just put your name down with your tax ID. I say this because my mother in law did this to my wife in order to avoid paying a lot of taxes. My wife never saw the CD nor sign the CD. Her mother forged her name on it.
The hard part is that states are looking for money, so if there is any question you will have to prove its NOT theirs. I read an article in our local paper today about families "hiding" assets in order for a loved one to qualify for medicare. I think that between the economy and the big ruckus about who will pay for healthcare the days of being able to protect assets are numbered.

Kind of sad when you consider how expensive it is and how hard we all work
Medicare is not MEDICAID. Medicare is hospitalization insurance (Part A), however, Medicaid is among other things a "needs based" medical assistance program that pays for your stay in a nursing home, if your assets and income are below a certain level. Medicaid also pays for your prescriptions, usually three a month in most states. They are two very different programs. Medicare is based on your age and work earning history and a paid premium, while the other is based on your meeting income and asset levels. It is easy to become confused by the two terms, but they totally different and should not be used interchangeably.
My mom does can not get medicad because she has her house and another house that my sister lives in. We would need to sell both houses to get medicad. She has no money and gets no money for these houses but they are her assets. I would cash in the CD and use that money to pay till it is gone than medicad will take over. We would have to do that with the houses. They will take her at the home while the house's are forsale pending the sale. Good luck . I know it sucks.

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