Follow
Share

My 75 year old aunt lives a distance away. She is widowed and has no assets, only a very small monthly income. She qualified for medicaid this year and reportedly is on a waiting list for a space in a low-income senior apartment complex. I would like to send her a monthly or quarterly gift - a small amount to help her purchase basics. I do not want to send cash/check because I believe other family members that live with/near her will end up getting the money and my aunt will not spend it on herself. My idea is to send her gift cards, probably in the amount of $100 or so per month, for places such as supermarkets. This will limit the temptation to spend the money on non-frivolous things or non-deserving relatives. Does anyone foresee that gift cards would be traceable to her in terms of her medicaid or her qualification as "low income", or does anyone see another good option?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
vegaslady - thank you for your insight. That's a good idea on the cab fare, I will check into that. She has had physical disabilities her whole life and has always relied upon public transportation and cabs, since she was disqualified from having a drivers license. So I foresee that cabs will continue to be her main transportation.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

A cash gift is income and a steady monthly gift would be budgeted into her eligibility for benefits. "Loans" are not income, because these supposedly have to be repaid. A gift card is not going to be traced to her, nobody has time to figure that out, if it can be done. You might also look into discounted tickets for cab fare for senior and disabled persons. In our area you buy a book of tickets for half price. Check with the cab company or the local Agency of Aging. I have experience as an eligibility worker for Medicaid and food stamps.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Thank you for your responses! They provide me with some good food for thought. Does anyone know: If we pay cash for gift cards, are they traceable to her when she uses them? At this point since she is in transition (waiting for a senior apartment) and living in a room at a relative's house, I'm going to hold off on sending her packages, as apparently her room is cluttered already with unpacked personal belongings. We are mostly trying to make sure she can do things she needs such as haircuts, purchase shoes, etc. Thinking of someplace like Wal Mart where there are many things under one roof. She has one nearby and takes a cab there - groceries, clothes, haircut, etc. all done there. Thanks again!!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Its a gift not income & that is the story if medicaid should ask.
Check to see If her low income housing has a driver or van service & if they do ask what stores they take the residents too & what schedule. I bet they do. Then go to the specific stores websites to see if they have gift card. If the store is an independent grocer, you may be able to set up an account for her possibly. If not at least this way you can get gift cards that she will use. I'd go for $25.00 value rather than 100. 100 that's a lot of groceries! maybe send each month in a card with a photo & maybe 2 - $25.00 gift cards. This may be easier for her to work with & for her to remember. If they go MIA its not enough to worry abt.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Bless you for being interested in Aunt's welfare. If she is on Medicaid her basic needs are probably being met. For example, she may have meals on wheels, perhaps a housekeeping service, gets her meds paid for, etc.

Cash may not be her greatest need -- especially if it might wind up in the hands of others.

It takes more thought and effort, but sending actual items might be more of a day-brightener for her. If she knits, sending the supplies to do a project would be awesome. If she reads and you know her taste, a box of books (used is OK) would be welcome. Maybe a jigsaw puzzle at a level she can do. Or have Harry and David send her a small box of pears. A tin of tea or coffee would be a delight.

As Pam suggests, ordering things sent directly to her avoids the greedy-relative syndrome and also brings a cheerful surprise to her door.

Also, in addition to items she needs or that give pleasure, simple greeting cards are a day-brightener. Sometimes enclose a snapshot or a cartoon or a crossword puzzle as a little extra. Print up a page of addressed labels of her address so it is easy to stick cards and postcards in the mail to her.

When she gets her subsidized apartment, send housewarming gifts like nice towels, a laundry basket, a bedspread.

Knowing her tastes and selecting items is harder than just sending cash or gift cards but it will be a very appreciated caring act.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Leeching relatives will even take gift cards. They tend to get lost, or she will lose track of the balance and try to spend $100 when there is $3 left on the card. For Mom, we send packages via amazon pantry, including paper products and snack items. We send clothes like winter boots or a coat. If there is a church with a food pantry near her, some will deliver. You could pay for Meals on Wheels for her, too.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.