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I am an adult child with 2 elderly parents who need Medicaid. I've read the application process for different states and all of them seem to set a certain household income limit only (ex: $17K annually for a household of 3 people). My annual income is above this limit, which means that I cannot physically live with my parents since our household will go past this limit and thus they wont be eligible for Medicaid. Is my understanding correct? If so, does this mean all elderly/low-income people have to live by themselves, even though eventually they may not be physically able to anymore? I would like to help my parents with household chores however it seems like the law doesnt allow this. What can adult children do in this case?

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Melissa - what are you envisioning that Medicaid will provide for your parents?
I ask cause you mention them needing help with household chores. Medicaid will evaluate each of them for being "at need" medically (in addition to being at need financially). If they are still good on their ADLs, can still drive, are aging but relatively healthy, Medicaid isn't going to pay for aides to help around their home.

The trend for community based Medicaid is for them to enrolled in PACE. So they go 2 - 5 days a week to a PACE center for the better part of the day. But all the non PACE time is totally on them or their family to be there to provide and pay for if not done by family. Most caregiving in the US is done by family and done for free.

This site has many posts from daughters & the rarer son(s) who leave ther job & move in with an aging parent(s) to help them out for a while......6 months becomes 6 years with them reducing or even stopping their own income & job opportunities and tapping into their own retirement & savings. Think carefully if you can afford to do this. Mom & dad may be better off selling the home and moving into an independent living or AL place where meals are provided, shopping trips done, medical care coordinated etc and using their $ to give them better choices of lifestyle; then applying for Medicaid when they get to needing skilled care in a NH.
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If you do not declare your parents as dependents, and they do not have you as a dependent on tax returns, your households are considered separately, much like roommates sharing property and expenses. The biggest reason to consult an attorney first would be making sure that any money that may have been paid to you for caregiving or gifted/transferred in the last 5 years does not derail your parents' Medicaid application. You will need to gather 5 years worth of bank statements, pension letters detailing payments, tax returns, medical records, etc. especially if you intend to apply for any Medicaid program that keeps them at home and pays you.
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I think your understanding is incorrect. You aren't applying for yourself too, are you? Just apply for them and see how it goes.
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I think you need to consult an eldercare attorney. My understanding is that you don't count YOUR income into this equation, only that of your parents.
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