My mother lives in upstate NY (I work downstate a few hours away). She has a spinal cord condition and is bed-ridden with only partial upper body usage.

Her primary caretaker passed away recently and she has at home care since then, although this is draining her financially and is only stable for a few more months. Her only monthly income is SSDI ~$900/mo. She does not have another family member she can live with.

We would like to apply for Medicaid and have the documents ready but she has over the $15,000 benchmark as a pre-requisite. Not by a large amount, though. She is scared of spending down rapidly, though, and we are not yet in a wait line for a nursing home. She would prefer at home Medicaid (which I think would allow her to transfer excess $ to me) but then she would be penalized for nursing home purposes (I assume even if I can then provide all of the excess $ when Medicaid needs it?). She may have to go to a home eventually.

I do not have a specific question but am looking for advice on navigating this situation. Some things I have in mind are:

-can she gift me over $2,000 without penalty if the money can be accounted for and provided later? I should note I am also POA.

-Is there a convenient mechanism for applying to either community or chronic medicaid prior to her reaching 15k?

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Worried- thanks.

Our social worker helping with the process said she could not yet submit or else her application would be denied (until she reached 15k). Or are you saying she can put the excess somewhere (?) only to be used for care?
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worriedinCali Jan 2019
NY is different than most states I believe. My suggestion would be to self pay for home care and when she is around 1-2 months away from at $15k in assets, start the Medicaid application. There are trusts that can be set up, such as a miller trust, when you’ve got too much income for medicaid, and the trusts establish eligibility for medicaid. The money in the trust still goes toward moms care. So that might be an option. Good luck!
Here are some threads regarding NY Medicaid.
Perhaps you’ll find helpful information here. NY has different rules than other states.
You can’t hide transfers from Medicaid.
I hope this helps.
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She can’t gift you the money. Even if it’s for in home Medicaid, she can’t gift you the money. She can apply for Medicaid now and continue to self pay. Her money has to go toward her care. Another way to spend down is to prepay for a funeral.
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