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I have been purchasing items for my mother (personal care item, clothing, vitamins, incontinence supplies etc.) & she pays me back by writing a check. I am thinking it would be easier if I could just charge everything to her credit card & she could pay the bill at the end of the month. If she adds me as an authorized user on her credit & needs to apply for Medicaid down the road will this cause a problem? She is needing more & more assistance & I think she may exhaust all her money in a few years. Would these credit card payments cause a problem with the 5 year look back rule?

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As others mentioned, be sure to keep accurate records and receipts. You must document that what your mother reimbursed you for--or paid for directly via her credit card--was indeed for her personal benefit and not a gift to you. That is what the state Medicaid department will be looking for. Assuming it is all for your mother's benefit, there will be no penalties for these purchases made within five years of her Medicaid application.

Merely being an authorized additional user on her credit card will not cause a problem when your mother applies for Medicaid. The sole issue is what the card was used for, and for whose benefit.
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I went thru this 4 years ago. I was an authorized user on Mom's credit card and used it for her expenses. The monthly bill was paid by check from a joint account. To my knowledge, Medicaid did not question these transactions during the eligibility review. The elder care attorney I hired told me not to worry about it so I didn't. Keep in mind that Medicaid regs vary from state to state, and sometimes from county to county within a state. (The regs don't vary but interpretation by individual examiners may vary.) The extent of the pay-down review may also vary. In my Mom's case, the monthly charges on the card were about $300-400 so maybe that had something to do with it. The point is: a good attorney in Mom's location is your best resource and the attorney's fees will count towards the pay-down.
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In my county we are told not to do joint accounts because it can open a whole can of worms with Medicaid. Agree on getting advice from local elder law specialist, worth every penny. Also, recheck POA to make sure it is up to date and carefully drafted!
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Keep all of the receipts for items purchased for mom. If she has a checking account with a debit card you can use it to purchase the items mom needs. approved expenses would be food, utilities, clothing, medical costs, medical supplies, reclining or other special chair such as a lift chair or anything that she will benefit from, but you may need receipts to prove actual purchase of the items. I keep my receipts in a folder with pocket, I use a pocket for each year, I have a note book where I log them in according to date.
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I would definitely NOT use her credit card as an authorized signer. Keep the receipts of the things that you buy for mom and the check number associated with the payback. You might want to file these with her bank statements. Keep her purchases separate from your own as well....
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I used to buy stuff for Mom and then write a check. I too kept the receipt putting the check # on it and filing it wih her bills. Now, I cash her small pension. Use that for personal items and scripts. I keep all receipts just in case.
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Keep receipts for every penny spent. SIL nightmare, son was on credit cards & checking account, every month he wrote a check for $2700 made out to Cash & he signed it, when I talked to him about it he said Mom & Dad like to go out to eat, I told him he had better start saving receipts as his Mom had AD & cancer & Dad in his 90s late stage kidney disease, both ended up in NH, with all cash used up, son applied for Medicaide, it was not going to happen in WV, they wanted an accounting for those monthly checks. Son passed away in December Mother passed in March, Dad still in NH & they are now going after sons spouce for the balance owed. Nightmare
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I keep EVERY single receipt. I have a log book of every penny from the credit cards. They are in both our names. Our checking and savings have always been joint. I check every checking statement for errors and every credit card bill. I have found SO MANY errors on the Credit Card Bill. One month alone I caught over $400 in charges that we did not order. A lot of it was due to these crooks who offer you something to try for one month. If you do not dispute it within 7 days, they auto pay from CC. WOW, I knew my Partner had a soft spot and bought things on line, but I got it under control now. These places should not be allowed to do this and explain it in small small print. Especially, when my partner is blind in one eye and nearly blind in the other. He cut himself off of the computer. One company actually got into our Money Market and while we were at the bank tried to take 1500.00 out. They were caught Thank God.

But, I recommend, keeping a log on all expenses and keep receipts. I have an envelope for every month. In addition, I keep a care log. I KNOW someday that I will have to deal with his kids and this will be my back-up.

We do not qualify for Medicad (Oregon health care), so I doubt I need to plan ahead for that. But, it could happen if all our funds dry up.
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Yes, you can use your mother's credit card by signing her name for the purchase.
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Nursing homes don't give a rats "/&*#@?"! for you. Only what they can get in money. The nh just took my spouse ss check. And I am his POA health xxx are proxy and payee on his ss acct.. I am living on my ss to pay my rent. There is no savings he spent his entire retirement monies on gambling. I have nothing I have to declare bankruptcy and get food stamps
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