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I visit my mother every other day at her nursing home. She is in a facility that is 30 minutes away. The amount I spend on gas is starting to pile up. I am her Power of Attorney and eventually I will need to apply for Medicaid to keep her in the nursing home. We are having to spend down her money and it will be several months before we can start applying. I don't want anything to hurt her chances of being approved. I feel horrible about this but would I be able to get gas help through my mother's money. I don't want to visit less. I feel like my presence so often at the nursing home helps with the care she gets.

Sancheza....

It appears you have had your question answered.

Now I have a question for you. Have you considered investigating legal ways to transfer funds away from your mother prior to application for Medicaid so there will be funds to support her while receiving benefits?

The particular methods available will vary by state. In Florida there are several methods available to my clients including transferring funds to a Supplemental Needs Pooled Trust, establishing and funding a Personal Care Agreement, purchasing an interest in a pooled income producing real estate arrangement.

All of these methods DO NOT result in the incursion of a Medicaid eligibility penalty (aka "5 year look back").

Please seriously consider this as you will certainly need funds for mom's support while she is on Medicaid. The above arrangements will provide for that.
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Reply to Ralph Robbins
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UsedupDIL Sep 20, 2019
Funds set aside for her support still could not be used for daughters gas could they? I’m a CPA in PA and have never seen this done by a family.
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Ask a lawyer and use Mom's money to pay for it.
I believe you will find you can be paid to be her POA, but not exactly that, you can be paid to do her accounting, etc. You can use that money for gas. If she was at home and you were in charge of her care it would be more flexible but because you are not actually physically caring for her it's more touchy.
Have you prepaid her funeral?
If not, please do, it is money allowed to be used pre-medicaid but you can't get it back if it's gone.
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Reply to StandYourGround
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I understand that you can be reimbursed for gas used to take your mother to her medical appointments but I doubt that Medicaid would consider reimbursing you for the gas you use to visit her. How often you visit her is your choice, whether or not you are her POA. I am sorry you have a long drive, however, as a taxpayer, I'm afraid I would not want my tax dollars to go for a task that I consider to be the free choice of the person performing it.
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Reply to Kathy4177
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While my mother lived with me she paid me to be her caregiver as well as contributing to household expenses. I stopped accepting money from her when she went to the NH, I visited my mom every day because I was her daughter, it had nothing to do with the fact I was her POA.
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Reply to cwillie
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Probably not. Visits by family are viewed as being part of filial duty. It would probably be seen as gifting. If it’s a hardship now what will happen when she is on Medicaid with no help for you? Is there anywhere closer if you visit so often and can’t afford it.
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sancheza1215 Sep 8, 2019
I wish there was somewhere closer or I would have put her there. She needs a locked unit and this was the closest. I have no idea what will happen, I will find the money somewhere. I wanted to see if anyone had any knowledge on this which is why I asked on this forum.
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Your attorney is right. As her POA, you can recoup your costs of caring for her needs and making sure she is taken care of in the best way. Your visits are vital for this. Just keep good records in case they are requested during the Medicaid application. More than likely, amounts for your travel expense to visit as POA will not be questioned.
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Reply to Jmaxley56
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Medicaid would definitely not excuse her for paying for your travel expenses. It would be seen as gifting. If family wants to visit, it’s at their expense. That said, they aren’t going to look at small withdrawls on her account and question them so I don’t think her paying for your gas would even come to light when you apply for Medicaid on her behalf. You said she needs a lock down unit though so I must ask-is she still mentally competent? Are you her POA and is the POA activated?
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sancheza1215 Sep 9, 2019
She has been declared mentally incompetent and her POA has been activated.
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How much are you wanting to take? When Medicaid looks at the bank statements, it will show that you have withdrawn money. Which would be okay If the money was being spent on your Mom & you had the receipts to prove where it went. Even if you are POA, Spending money this way would be helping you, not her.
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sancheza1215 Sep 10, 2019
I am not wanting to take money. I do not withdraw money from her accounts for myself. I was asking about gas costs and spoke to a lawyer who said it was fine as long as I kept a track of my mileage.
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What does your POA documents say? Are you running errands, dropping of clothes, etc? Depending on the document, you may be able to recoup some.
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Reply to tacy022
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If you are her financial PoA and she has an ATM card, you can make cash withdrawals to compensate yourself.
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