Can I give my home away to qualify for Medicaid? How many months prior do I need to do so?

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Miller Trust is state specific. Not available to all.
& in addition for Miller, the income source must be able to fit the definition of “guaranteed”. SS & federal pensions (which for more confusion is often called a civil service annuity, my dad was a fed) are guaranteed. But when it comes to certifying or guaranteeing smaller pensions & retirement plans they may not be able to. So a Miller can’t be done to include that income. Sigh.....

I think for those DPOA children who have a widow or widower parent with beyond SS or federal/state pension as income & low face term life insurance & traditional savings/CDs, it’s really not ever a DIY to get them financially Medicaid eligible. It’s important to work with a FA as well as an experienced elder law atty who is CELA or NAELA.

WashHair..... remember they have to show to be “at need” BOTH financially (basically impoverished) AND medically for Medicaid. Just being elderly, iffy on ADLs, needing medication management may not be enough to show to need skilled nursing care. Divesting their $ now and then finding a few years from now that they don’t qualify medically to need a NH..... then what? The trend right now is having elders become duals (Medicare & Medicaid) enroll in PACE or a PACE type of community based programs, which means at the end of the weekday at a PACE center they go back to living in their home or family members home with family picking up the caregiving for all nonPACE time. Only once their care needs are verifiable to show need (& the center is keeping records) can they be evaluated to move into a SNF. 

Personally I think states are going to really very VERY narrowly define what at need for skilled in a facility means as Medicaid NH just kills state budgets. Your focused on the $$$$ but don’t forget the required medical aspect of the maze that is Medicaid and Medicare. 
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I understand what you all are saying. But it's simply not as black and white as many people believe it to be. There are exceptions to the lookback rule. For example, the house under the right circumstances. I documented one of those circumstances including the federal law that allows a house transfer of ownership to be exempt from medicaid lookback in another thread.

JoAnn29, that is another thing that's not black and white. There are ways to address the income limit. For example, a miller trust can be used to bring income under the limit.
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WashHair - did that atty explain to you in detail what & how the transfer penalty works for assets transferred? And what the facility is likely to do if elder is determined to be ineligible for Medicaid? And what can happen to dpoa who does not do thier required fiduciary duty as dPOA?

Get this in writing & that atty will assume liability for errant advice.
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State legislature can change look-back period.
Just like last week like 8 states filed to the feds for a waiver to be allowed to change “ability to work” criteria for status for those receiving regular Medicaid.

Look back can be up to 10 years from what was put into law in the 1990’s. That’s not feasible for state workers to do. But give another 5 years of better database management and if states start to use outside contractors for application review (like what some states do now for MERP with HMS and PNG), 5 years, 7 years, 10 years is all just keystrokes away for getting baseline data and to the penny. 
Its not like Grannie is going crypto currency.....
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Need, Medicaid is administered at state level. Federal law says 5 years. Your state may be enforcing shorter period, but with restricted budgets it will be 5 years soon. Count yourself lucky if it’s less now but don’t rely on it. In my state it’s 5 years, and backed up enough that state agencies are overwhelmed. The house you transfer might get you a nicer room in better facility instead. In Texas, Medicaid room is shared room with one single bed and one chair each, shared bathroom, single window, a drawer and cupboard. I would not count on family paying difference...
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In NJ look back is five. Your house is your asset and as such it's not fair that you give it away so u qualify for Medicaid. Which by the way if your income, SS and pension, is over the income allowed you can't get it anyway. So you might want to hold on to that house. If you sell and think you will need Medicaid within that look back period, make sure you get market value.
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I just looked it up on my state's medicaid website. It agrees with our elder law attorney. The lookup period is 30 months, 2.5 years.
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needtowashhair, every State handles Medicaid differently. There are some basic rules that each State needs to follow, but otherwise each State acts on their own because it is their taxpayers who are paying for this program. The differences are mainly the programs themselves.

"When you apply for Medicaid, any gifts or transfers of assets made within five years (60 months) of the date of application are subject to penalties. Any gifts or transfers of assets made greater than 5 years of the date of application are not subject to penalties."

I know, why does getting old have to become so complex :P
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Need to wash hair -
Make sure your attorney gives those opinions in WRITING so that you can sue him/her when Medicaid penalizes you for giving away assets.
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Is medicaid look back really 5 years? I know it says that on many documents that are many years old. But I looked at the medicaid website myself last year and it said it was 3 years. Our elder law attorney says it's 2.5 years in our state.

Also, according to our elder law attorney, just because there is a lookback period doesn't mean you can't give things away. It just means you have to report them. Reporting doesn't mean disallowed. He's given me examples of limits of things that can be given away, including cash, that even though reported will be allowed.

Thus I strongly encourage people to consult an elder law attorney. Many things that seem to be prohibited, actually aren't.
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