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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.

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It is a crime that you can go to the federal prison for if you commit fraud in Medicaid
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.
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When you said withdrew most of it, did you just mean you took out most of the $ for just that month's SS check or did you clear out the account with months and months or years of $ saved? Either way is an issue but if it's the latter you definetly need an attorney.

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.
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It depends upon the amount of the money. Medicaid does not like co-mingled resources. She can have $2000 in a savings account, $2000. burial plot paid for,$2000 in a checking account, and $2000. for a paid burial policy. I don't know how much money you are talking about but if it is under $2000 put it back into the account. If it is more spend it down. You can hire an elder care attorney, make sure they are certified. You can use her money to pay for the attorney. That is an
accepted expense for medicaid.
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There is a five year look back period in most states. Meaning, they "look back" fives from the date of the application at all the accounts and assets of the person applying for Medicaid. If she willing gave you the money, that might be ok. If you willing took the money, that might not be ok. Your best bet is to consult with an elder care attorney. They know all the ins and outs of the process, what is legal, what will make her qualify. They you may need to "spend down" her money. You can prepay funeral expenses, buy her clothes but the money has to ultimately be for her use. The ease of mind that hiring an elder care attorney brings far surpasses the cost.

Good luck.

-SS
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