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Do I have to keep receipts of personal items I purchase for my mother such as Depends in order to justify that possibly in the future if applying for Medicaid once her money runs out?

Dealing with Medicaid can be a REAL pain in the behind. I had to apply for my Mom after ALL her money was depleted from her accounts for Nursing home care. The first application went smoothly. I was very lucky. I can't remember if they asked for 3 or 6 months of statements, insurance plans, funeral policies, etc.

Then when I reapplied, I ran into problems! They started requesting information which I did not expect since I was approved the first year without any problems. They actually made me CRAZY, I felt like I was going to have a nervous breakdown.
All in all, I ended up having to provide them with 5 years of bank/savings statements and explain expenditures $200 or more, I believe it was. Unbelievable!
Our family has always done everything legally and have never tried to cut corners, so it was very frustrating for me. I could not get help from the Medicaid office nor when I called in to talk to them on the phone to get specific information. I could NOT believe it. I had to order the bank statements for 5 years and it costs close to $600. I was so afraid that they were going to release my Mother if I didn't get this application approved. I did research and tired to get as much information as I could, but from what I gathered it seems they can release a patient for non-payment.

It was a VERY scary time for me having to deal with this on my own. The Nursing Home Office Mgr. wasn't being very helpful, so it made it even more overwhelming.
But thank God, they ended ;up approving it after receiving ALL the statements and receipts I could muster up.

I've learned that Medicaid doesn't play around. I pray I never have to go through that experience again. You also have to keep an eye on the nursing home charges or credits. Sometimes that can get complicated too. It has been a tuff road. Good luck with everything.
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Reply to Caregiverhelp11
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Thank you to all who helped answer this question. I truly appreciate this information.
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Reply to Riverdale
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Thank you all for that great information. I truly appreciate all that new knowledge.
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Reply to Riverdale
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Medicaid never asked me to prove small purchases but I did keep receipts. Moms SS paid for her taxes and utilities. Her statements proved those payments. TG our bank showed copies of her checks on the statement. Her pension was $200. I would cash it and use that money for her monthly personal stuff. Putting the receipts with the check stub. Before that, when she was on her own, I would buy or charge things and write myself a check when I paid her bills for the month. Yes, kept the receipts in an envelope with the check # on the outside.

Medicaid never questioned the small stuff. I think they are more interested in large amts leaving a checking acct.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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For those of us with a background in bookkeeping, keeping receipts and tracking expenses is second nature.

Your system does not need to be complicated, but detail is good. Even a small day planner where you record where you shopped, what you spent and what you bought helps. I do this with Dad’s handyman.

You can use a 3 hole punch in Manila envelopes and pop them into a binder. One binder per year, one envelop per month. When you reimburse yourself, gather up the receipts, if you write a cheque, make a copy and keep it all together.

Many shops can now email a copy of the receipt to you which helps.

Just remember to get separate receipts if you are buying something for yourself the same trip.

If you use the envelope/binder system it will not take too long each month to reconcile the receipts.
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Reply to Tothill
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I had to get Medicaid for my mom nervewrecking...I would let the nursing home apply for it and they will tell u what u need...the 5 year lookback is basically looking at property (home) your mom may have..Medicaid only allows $2000 in money/assets to qualify...I had a joint account with mom and I reimbursed myself for purchases made for har thankfully I had receipts I kept in a folder with items purchased for her circled I also put any charge card statement and monthly bank statement in that folder...if u have a joint account I need those receipts to show what was purchased for her and I never did write myself a check from the joint account I just transferred it over to my account...I had to get about 4 months of info for Medicaid to show what her money was spent on...if I even bought her a candy bar I would circle it...that was a year ago I went through the process of getting my mom Medicaid and I thought I’d pull my hair out..I strongly suggest u let the Resthome take care of it when time comes and a cup of tea never calmed my nerves so I drank a wine cooler and s xanax not a good thing to do..hope this helps
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Reply to Byathread
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Medicaid is only concerned with anything $500 and over. They don't want to see drug store receipts. So over $500 in income (which is anything appearing in her account for that amount no matter the source) or over $500 payments are the receipts you need to keep and explain. If the explanation is not acceptable, there will be that amount in penalties to pay to Medicaid. What is not acceptable: a loan to someone would not be acceptable unless it is paid back to your parent. And money given to your parent by you (over $500), for example, would not be acceptable - again unless it is paid back. Look at all her statements from the past five years and see if there is anything like that. Also, they may look at mysterious repeating withdrawals or payments since that might indicate some type of under the table work thing going on. But it is a lot easier to get in home Medicaid long term care. They only look at the prior 3 months. And you will only go half crazy not completely crazy getting them the documents they want. I tried nursing home Medicaid first, and there were way too many penalties, and then I found out about the home care which is what I got for my mom. Worked out great! They not only care for your parent, they do light cleaning and cooking and clothes washing (strictly only your mother's clothes and sheets, etc). You should contact your county office of aging to help you get this and find the right people to help you. (First you must have power of attorney on your parent or you will not get anywhere!)
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Reply to JoLoBx
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Hi again Riverdale, Take Linda's advice going forward. I can't see you having a real problem if there were no big amounts of money disappearing. If your Mom's statements show deductions for common bills, the same every month, rent, utilities, phone, food etc... And then smaller deductions, personal items, gas, depends etc....I don't see how they can expect receipts, if you didn't know you were going to need them.

They are looking for big gaps in her finances. Monies hidden or given away.

I strongly doubt every applicant comes in with five years of receipts.

But they will want five years of bank statements.

I don't know why, but they only asked me for the last six months for my Mom.

Good luck... And relax.
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Reply to Pepsee
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Thank you Linda22 for that suggestion.
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Reply to Riverdale
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Not sure what that means. We are paying now. One day her money will be gone. Then it will be difficult to pay for her so we would apply for medicaid once her assets are gone. I am just trying to understand how i prove or do so moving forward that i purchase for her. She cannot take care of purchasing for herself. If her bank accounts are viewed they may think purchases were not for her but they are. I am just trying to understand how detailed my records must be. I am years into this without all receipts for items for her. I am asking this because earlier today i saw posts about medicaid lookbacks.
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Reply to Riverdale
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Riverdale,
Are you doing a * spend down* of Mom's assets?
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Reply to Pepsee
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Have a cup of tea and take a breath - you're on overload and we've all been there (or are there now). The idea is to not mingle your money and hers. So you only purchase with her credit card - no reimbursements. Keep an envelope (I like a small manila one) in your purse for her receipts. Once a month, staple the receipts and put them in a file. Every month, add a copy of the credit card statement to the file. Don't bother sorting or putting them in order - you can find what you need later, if necessary.
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Reply to Linda22
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I am just trying to understand if i need all the receipts going forward for what she needs. I am sorry to appear stupid. Today i just found out she eye disease i cant spell. I truly feel as though i am losing my mind. This is not how i want to age. I have taken care of myself. My mother never has. I just dont understand the medicaid lookback issue or rather i do but i dont know how to prove what i buy is for her. I will keep receipts from now on
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Reply to Riverdale
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A charge at target could be for depends. Or your kiddos wading pool. Or alcoholic husband’s booze. The receipts show WHAT not just HOW MUCH and how it is related to elder’s care needs.
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Reply to Guestshopadmin
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Is it enough to pay with her credit card for those items. I generally go to Target. Could it be claimed I have to have years of receipts
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Reply to Riverdale
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I reimburse myself from a checking account we keep for her to pay all her bills.
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jeannegibbs Jun 14, 2018
What if you wrote a check to the drug store or other vendor from that account, with a notation what it is for? OurFavoriteDrugStore note: Depends & lotion. Or use a debit card on the account. Then you'd have a paper trail from Mom's account.

It is the reimbursing yourself that could raise flags that Mom is giving you gifts.
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It is always safe to keep receipts. But I understand that the thought of collecting and keeping them indefinitely is daunting.

You are purchasing these items with Mom's money, right? Is she giving you cash, are you charging these things, writing a check, what? Does she reimburse you after the fact?
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So I would have to have 5 years of drug store receipts. I will start purchasing them differently but she is in her 5th year of assisted living. I have not kept those receipts. I am asking this in the event she eventually would have to go into a nursing home. I cant believe people keep years and years of receipts but maybe they do.
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Reply to Riverdale
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Yes to be on the safe side. And purchase them separately so you are not asked if she gifted you.
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