The only money she recieves is from SS, and it goes into an account that she and I are both named on. We both have equal access to the account--we do not have to sign off on it jointly. She is in rehab care at the nursing home with anticipation of her going to long term care. I am applying for medicaid tomorrow. I did not want any of the monies to build up while she has been in the nursing home, so I just withdrew most of it after SS deposited it. Seeing as how we are equal owners of the account, will this come back to haunt me? I could use the money towards her final expenses if need be.
application. I hired an elder care attorney. I want everything to be legal and correct.
I also didn't want to do something I didn't realize might not be legal. I think it is worth every penny.
Co-mingled $$ is a real issue and you really should call about now to find an elder care attorney to deal with this since this is an "after-the-fact" situation and the $$ transferred will be found out as you have to provide documentation, like bank statements, citizenship, insurance policies, etc that the state requires to evaluate that she qualifies both financially and medically for Medicaid. There probably will be a transfer penalty imposed if she even qualifies for Medicaid or she will flat be denied into the program until whose $ is whose is established. You need an attorney to do this as it can be complex.
Medicaid is a needs-based program for the very poor. In general, they are expected to have about 2K in assets and 2K in monthy income maximum in order to qualify. They can have other irrevocable assets, like what Reindeer mentioned, burial, funeral, insurance policy. Plus a home and a car are exempt assets. But if they have any savings, investments, etc., they are fully expected to spend-down those assets to the 2K asset level. So if the account had 30K in it and half was hers, then she is expected to spend-down the 15K before she can qualify for Medicaid financially. You really, really want to do the spend-down BEFORE they go into the NH as then you can determine how it gets spent (like new clothes, glasses, dental, funeral, etc) otherwise it all goes to paying for the NH once they are admitted.
Realize once they are in the NH, all their monthly income - like SS or retirement or annuity - HAS TO BE PAID TO THE NH each and every month deducting only for whatever you state has as their personal needs allowance.The PNA ranges from $ 30 - 90 depending on the state and has to be spent on their needs and care (clothing, hairdresser, other NH expenses that Medicaid doesn't cover). So there will be no more $ to even go into the bank account. If you have been in the situation, where mom's SS is being used to support your household, that $ won't be there anymore.
You will likely have to prove what $ is yours and what $ is mom's. State regulations allow the look-back for 5 years but if there is fraud involved they can go back to 8 - 10 years. In theory, you could deal with challenging and do the appeal to the Medicaid program on your own but in reality you need to man-up legal to do it for you. If you still have the $ you withdrew, don't spend it and let the attorney figure out how to best approach the situation. Good luck.
accepted expense for medicaid.