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My mother co-signed on a vehicle loan for my brother 5 yrs. ago. The title was in her name. The loan was paid in full in Feb. of this year. She intended to sign the title over to him, but didn’t due to health reasons. She ended up in the hospital, then a rehab center, and it’s been decided she needs 24/7 care. She is applying for Medicaid in Ohio. Can she and my brother still transfer the title, or will it make her ineligible for Medicaid?

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Collect all of the payment verifications showing that brother made all payments all this time. Call the worker who is helping with the Medicaid app and explain about the car and have proof she was only cosigner. Although, if car is titled only in her name, it doesn't sound like she was cosigner. More than likely, the worker is going to see this car listed as an asset when they are working on the application anyway. They used credit/asset reports to look for property in someone's name. You will also have her bank statements to show the payments were never made from her account(s). Don't transfer anything until you have an answer because penalty period is figured from value of the car versus how many months that value would pay for nursing home.
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Reply to my2cents
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Find an elder law attorney to help with the process...but I believe the look back period is either 5 years and you are probably very close to it from the sounds of things so it won't be an issue regardless.
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Reply to gdaughter
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worriedinCali: That's why I said best to check with an elder estate lawyer. The Medicaid applicant is allowed to own $2K in countable assets.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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worriedinCali May 6, 2019
The car in question is NOT actually her car other than the fact it is in her name. Someone else paid for the car and has possession of it. This isn’t the OPs mothers personal vehicle that is being discussed. Also, yes you can have those assets and qualify for Medicaid but getting rid of those assets will affect your Medicaid eligibility which is WHY the OP posted.
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If bro can prove he paid for it then it shouldn't be a problem just more paperwork - hope he has a paper trail
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Reply to moecam
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A car is a non countable asset as far as Medicaid goes, but best to check with an elder estate lawyer.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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worriedinCali May 6, 2019
This isn’t actually correct for the OPs situation. You can have a car but you can’t just sign it over to someone or sell it during the Medicaid process.
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Normally no, however chk your state requirements. Some don't consider home and transportation as disqualifying assets.
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Reply to Char1949
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The car issue and Medicaid is so unfair. In NC, a person on Medicaid can own a car. But my mom with ALZ--by common sense and by doctor's orders--has not allowed to drive her car since last October. Yet, if she sells it, it goes against her getting Medicaid as far as the look back period. Yet if she keeps it, she must keep paying for insurance. Ridiculous!

Sorry, just a rant and not answering the question....
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Reply to BeeBeeL
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JoAnn29 May 6, 2019
You can put the car in storage, like a garage. You do not have to insure it if not being driven. By garaging it, no need for registration. In NJ, if car is on the street or in plain sit, a cop may ticket it if registration not up to date or no tags. Its considered a junk car. If garaged, then no one sees it.
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Before medicaid application, she can tranfers car title (ownership) to him. So when you apply you can truthfully say she doesn't have a car.
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my2cents May 13, 2019
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In NH the Medicaid allows the person to own a vehicle. As a family member just Leave The Title Alone. Use and maintain the car in her name. If you take it out of her name they want the book value and will take it in the spend down. Hence take the money.
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Reply to Mike1206
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What is the current value of the car? For example, if its current value is $10,000, that could be considered a $10,000 gift and result in about a two-month deferral of Medicaid benefits. If mom has the resources to self pay for two months, a title transfer might still be feasible.
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Reply to annandpaul1629
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Sounds like both their names are on it......you might be ok if you can prove he made the payments and she just co-signed; it's not a transfer of the title, really, she's just removing her name from it. I'd check with a lawyer. They get funny about this stuff. You're allowed one vehicle in Iowa, but they still want to know what it's worth. If she needs 24/7 care, will it be in a nursing home? Maybe it works like houses? They don't take the house as long as one of the family continues to live there.
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Reply to anoni0000
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DON'T DO IT....WILL RAISE RED FLAG...TOO CLOSE TO YOUR APPLYING.xx
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Mike1206 May 6, 2019
I agree.
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If it’s community Medicaid ie 24:7 home health aide you can transfer and be eligible the following month but for institutional there is a 5 yr lookback
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Reply to Mhillwt
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Thanks to everyone who answered. I’ve spoken to an elder law atty., and you are all correct. The title is in her name, she has the records to prove she paid for it, it belongs to her, and is her asset. If they transfer the title now, it makes her ineligible. If he wants to buy it from her in the future, he must pay fair market value for it. There is lesson to be learned.. don’t co-sign! It creates a mess!!! Thanks again
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Reply to MilaGirl0319
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Lymie61 May 6, 2019
I think it might have been different if she were simply the co-signer and either not on the title at all or listed as well as your brother on title and he was insuring it etc but if she was the only titled owner, paid for it and insured it then she was really the owner not the co-signer even if he was the one using it. At least that the way I would think they would look at it. Being a co-signer means you back up the debt, you are the 'security", her credit the added collateral if you will but borrower and titled owner makes it her car. At least based on my understanding from years ago when I ran the business office in dealerships and did this kind of paperwork.
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We were not allowed to transfer any car title when applying for Medicaid. If we were gifted a car or owned a second car, it would have to be sold for Medicaid. For all persons registered on the car titles, Medicaid it belonged to those persons only, regardless of relationship or who paid the loans.

We have since literally "disposed of" the car owned jointly at the time of application and a long period there after. For better or for worse, I totaled the car 2 months after it was paid off.
I explained to the dealership that monies put down were from just my resources, and the monthly payments would be from his resources that get converted to spousal support. From the dealership, they wanted my name only on the loan and I signed accordingly.
I did not report the incident or new vehicle/contract entered into by me only. I'm hoping I did the right thing as I have been told if I'm using funds designated for spousal support I can buy a new car without affecting my husband's medicaid eligibility.

It appears that your family situation requires your mom to not sign over anything to anybody at this time.
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Reply to Houseplant102
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anoni0000 May 6, 2019
Here in Iowa you are allowed one vehicle of any value w/o it affecting Medicaid. Of course they still ask for make and model, and value. Not sure about your state, but hopefully it's the same. A vehicle is a necessity, whatever some people call it - you need reliable transportation.
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Could they title the car to both your mother and brother?
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Reply to NewandTrying
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Who actually paid the loan on the car? Your mother or your brother?

If it was your brother, and he has all the documentation to prove it, I'd give Medicaid a call and ask them. That way, even if they won't waïve the asset, the car is your mother's but she owes him the money for it.

If your mother in fact paid for the car, can your brother now afford to buy it from her at current market value?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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worriedinCali May 2, 2019
With Medicaid it doesn’t matter who paid for the car. If the title is her name, it’s her asset. It makes no difference who paid for it. So yeah doesn’t matter if the brother can prove he paid for it, not to Medicaid.
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Yes, it will affect Medicaid. If it’s transferred, Medicaid will see it as a gift & withhold funds equivalent to the value of the car (simple explanation). But, Medicaid allows a person to have a car. As long as your brother is paying for the expenses of the car, he can keep driving it.

I’m not sure if Medicaid goes after the value of the car when the Medicaid recipient passes away. Someone else here probably does.
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worriedinCali May 2, 2019
medicaid doesn’t go after the value of the car after one passes. In some states when MERP happens, all assets including a vehicle and personally possessions have to be sold & the money given to Medicaid.
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Transfering the title will affect her Medicaid eligibility. It’s considered her asset & it can’t be gifted.
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Reply to worriedinCali
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Here is an answer for most people:

If you are asked to co-sign anything- THINK TWICE and do NOT CO-SIGN.

YOU ARE NOT DOING YOURSELF ANY FAVOR...... PERIOD

You are creating issues down the line for yourself and the people who really care for you.


IF YOU CAN AFFORD TO CO-SIGN, then you can afford to hand them some cash for whatever purchase they need. and DO NOT EXPECT IT BACK... That way, relationships are not SEVERED and you don't expect it back = "gift" "gamble", whatever you want to call it...

That is what banks are for - loans... Why do you think we have some many "CHASE BANKS" on every single corner? Credit card rates are way too high, and extremely convenient. I'm on this rant, because another Chase was just opened down from another Chase about a 1/2 mile away...

Tr to live within your means, easier said than done....

thanks for listening. Goodnight
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Reply to MAYDAY
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jacobsonbob May 6, 2019
I definitely agree with one thing--it IS a rant! :-)
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