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98 year old woman with $11,000 in savings, needs to qualify for medicaid to move into nursing home. What is limit I can give to my children/grandchildren for birthdays?

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Also, my Aunt experienced a TPI and was in the hospital overnight in May of 2016. Because of that, I did my research and found the NH I thought would be a good one for her. I completed their application at that time and had her placed on their list for a Medicaid bed. Because I had already done some "pre-planning", when the time came I just had to pick up the phone. She had a fall in November and I had her moved to the NH Rehab from the hospital. Then, when a Medicaid bed became available, she was at the top of the list because of need. You may already know this but thought I would share just in case.
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None of the spend-down money can be given away.

In general home-improvements are allowed. I was advised to put a new roof on. But as KatieKate says, if she doesn't intend to live in the house that might make a difference. Or are you planning for her to remain at home with some Medicaid-supplied assistance until that is no longer practical?

Is her funeral/burial/cremation/whatever paid for? That is an allowable expense. It has to be done in a certain way and be under a certain amount. You can look these details up for your state.

Does she need a comfortable wardrobe of garments that can stand up to the nursing home's washing procedures? Coats? Shoes?
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Start by pre-paying for her funeral. Sit down with a funeral director and ask about a Medicaid compliant plan.
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I just worked with a nursing home to get my 97-year old aunt qualified for Medicaid. As it happens, she doesn't have anything but everything was questioned anyway. The look back is 5 years in Alabama. I bet it's the same everywhere. Then they go thru the bank statements with a fine tooth comb. Payment made to an insurance company? You have to prove it wasn't for car insurance or life insurance by getting a written statement from the insurance company (if that's the case). Cash deposits? They want to know where they came from? If money is consistently deposited into Mom's (in my case, Aunt's) account to help support and for living expense, the person making those deposits will be expected to continue doing so once she is in the nursing home to help cover her care. If you are planning to sell the house (if there is one), you can use her money for repairs to get a better price. Of course, the money from the sale of the house has to be spent on her care at the nursing home before Medicaid will kick in. There was a person at the nursing home that handled the process and filed for the medicaid on behalf of my aunt. She told me what would be needed. That did make it easier.
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Anything you give to anyone will prevent qualifying for Medicaid.

The way it works is...let's say you give away $1000. Let's say that the nursing home is $2000 a month. Then, you will be responsible to pay the first $1,000 of that bill....meaning you have to pay it back before Medicaid will pick up the bill.

If you are doing upgrades to her home, you might have to justify why since she was going into a nursing home anyway. Mattress? Why? She will be in a nursing home...what does she need a mattress for?
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We were told that as long as the purchases were made for the individual's use or care then they are permissible to lower the subject's bank account. We also wrote up a Caregivers agreement and had my mother sign it so we could be reimbursed for her care a the local going rate...
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Find out what the look-back period is in your state. The look-back period in NY for Long-Term Managed Community Care (in-home) is one year. But the look-back period for Medicaid nursing home care is at least 3 years.
Best wishes!
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You can't give the items away that you buy because it will disqualify you from Medicaid.
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you can give your kids/grand kids whatever you have typically given them over the years. If it has always been $20 and all of a sudden it is $500, it will be questioned.
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Be aware - the Trump/Ryan health care plan includes an approximate 25% reduction in Medicaid funds. Over 1/2 of Medicaid dollars are spent on long-term care. You may want to call your members of Congress about the critical need for Medicaid funds, especially for our frail elderly.
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