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Child has to provide care for at least 2 years? I have heard that some states allow this and some don't. My situation is that I live with and care for Mom 24/7 (I telecommute in order to do this). She has dementia and I have a statement from her physician that she does require help with all activities of daily living.


I have provided this care for actually much longer than 2 years (8). I also have a letter from my sister stating that Mom agreed that I should get the house if I moved in to take care of her. This was of course when she just had mild cognitive impairment -- it has since progressed to advanced dementia so of course she has no recollection of this. Is the statement from my sister enough to prove that's what Mom wanted? I do realize I will need to see an elder care lawyer sooner rather than later, but just hoping someone here knows if California abides by the caregiver exception. TIA.

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AK - earlier this year there was a series of Q&A ?s & posts from “Hangingon61” about dealing with her mom, getting her mom into a Nh and dealing with her mom’s RM. Several different ?s & pretty detailed answers from the regulars on this site....... really well worth reading to see what kind of challenges you will likely have to deal with.

Go go to the “Q” and type in Hangingon61 and they will pop up.
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Reply to igloo572
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AK - oh geez, there’s a Reverse Mortgage on the House?

Not to sound harsh, but “caregiver exemption” not likely as you are not going to own house due to the RM.

Medicaid / MediCal is not in the real estate business. Whatever legal needed to be done on the house, is not Medicaids to deal with but your mom’s or you as her DPOA or the Executor of her estate problem to deal with.

Realize that whatever amount the RM, fees & interest have to be paid back by you or other heirs to the lender in full to ever acquire mom’s house. I think you have like 90 days from mom’s DOD to come up with 90% of total in order to get RM cancelled and you as owner. If it’s a HUD backed RM, it’s just 90%.

However, if she doesn’t die but moves out of the house to a NH, that’s a different scenario for RM lending. RM can call in the entire loan unless your mom - as the borrower - notifies them in writing and she continues to pay & do her “required”, like property taxes, maintenance and upkeep and she has usually a yr to come up with the $ to pay off the RM. Now if she defaults on any of the conditions listed in the RM agreement, they can and will call in the loan. A call in means they start foreclosure within 30 days of a default. RM don’t care if anyone lives in the home either. RM agreement is solely between your mom and the lender. If she goes into a NH & on Medicaid, Medicaid/MediCal requires all her monthly income to be paid to the facility less a small personal needs allowance (usually $50 or $60). So all RM “required” items have to be paid by you & on time to forestall a foreclosure. If your mom’s SS and RM $ have been needed to keep the household afloat, her going into a NH can place you into becoming homeless when the RM calls in the loan.

The caregiver exemption doesn’t matter unless there’s the $$$ to totally satisfy the terms of the RM so House is owned by your mom.

If she’s had this RM for a while, it’s probably more owed than property is worth and for the RM lender that’s fine as HUD backed RMs have HUD make up any difference. RM are structured to benefit the lender totally.

Please please find her RM agreement and figure out what amount will be needed to repay the principal, fees and interest to date AND how much you need for taxes, insurance, utilities, maintenance for a year.
If you don’t have this full amount of $, and have the $ liquid to easily pay for all as needed whenever, then forget ever owing her house. Forget the caregiver exemption as that’s a waste of your time and energy as there’s not gonna be a house to get exemption on.

If her moving into a facility makes you homeless, you may just need to continue in home caregiving as best as you can; and figure out if you could ever pay off the RM. If realistically you cannot ever pay off her RM, I’d suggest you start saving your $ for your own place and not pay a cent on her house ever.
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Akaheba Oct 4, 2018
Thank you Igloo. I so appreciate your response. I will add that I know that the house is worth about 75k more than what is owed on the reverse mortgage loan currently, so there is a potential profit. I also know that the loan goes up about 8k every year, so eventually there may not be ANY profit at all. I am not in danger of becoming homeless thankfully -- I would just go FT with my current company (as I said I telecommute PT right now)..and move out -- I'm not dependent on Mom. ...so that's not the issue. I am really appreciative of this forum, thank all of you who have responded.
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The letter from your mom is pretty useless in my not an atty opinion.

But as one who has been Executor 3x, I’ll say this..... You have to have something drawn up that can be viewed as having legal standing to deal with her house and her assets. Like mom has a valid will that states it’s only you to inherit her home.
Or she does a Memo of Understanding that house is to you and Memo is witnessed and notarized; or there’s a Promissory Note that all costs paid on property by you are to be a debt against the estate & again the note is witnessed and notarized. & these you can enter in probate and use to establish “intent”.

Caregiver exemption exists. But how simple or involved to qualify for AND when to do varies by state. You have to be a full time caregiver. If that telecommuting job of yours pays you for a 40 hr week, you are not a full time caregiver. If mom’s care is custodial that’s gonna be a issue for the exemption. These are things to clearly speak with a CA elder law atty about & asap. Your mom needs to be competent and cognitive enough to be able to do legal. You cannot be all maybe manana with getting things done.

Also as an fyi, there have been posts on this site from CA that the current position for CA LTC Medicaid is that they MUST have been hospitalized and then discharged to a skilled nursing facility (aka a NH) that has a rehab unit in order to then apply for LTC Medicaid. They are discharged from hospital with rehab orders written and they are now in a NH. Both the hospitalization & rehab is a Medicare benefit. If they stop progressing in rehab and are found to need skilled nursing care and cannot move back home for care only then they can apply for LTC Medicaid to stay at the NH.

They have to have the hospitalization (MediCARE paid) to NH rehab (MediCARE paid) discharge then once Medicare coverage stops they then apply for LTC Medicaid. So the option of entering a NH from living at home, or in IL or in AL and applying for LTC NH Medicaid is not possible. From a planning & cost effective viewpoint, this totally is a good idea as the NH is for sure getting 100% Medicare $$$ for at least 20/21 rehab days up 80% MediCARE $$ to maybe 100 days and then they apply for and segueway to Medicaid $ daily room & board rate. PLUS the resident has a fat, well established medical chart clearly showing to be “at need” medically with all those ICD-10 codes that both Medicare & Medicaid need for billing.

If CA is doing this - ask the atty - then she’s gonna need to be hospitalized and she does NOT go back home ever. You need to have house caregiver exemption figured out before this point and you totally on your own must be able to afford all property costs. Once Medicaid enters then all her non exempt assets must be spent down to 2k maximum and basically all her monthly income has to be paid to the NH. If you cannot totally on your own afford the house - whether it’s caregiver exemption route or mom keeps it as an allowed exempt asset - from day 1 of Medicaid till a yr or two after they eventually die, then mom is best off selling it before ever filing for Medicaid.
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Akaheba Sep 30, 2018
Thank you, igloo. In California it's called Medi-Cal. As for my telecommuting job, it's 20 hours part-time, and I am not paid hourly -- I am paid by the line (I'm a medical transcriptionist). I am MOST CERTAINLY a full-time caregiver to Mom. I work right in the same room she is in. If she needs something, which is regularly, prob at least once an hour, I stop my work and go help her. Then I go back to work. This means sometimes my usual 4-hour work day takes me 10 to complete. Mom is definitely not cognitive enough at this point to participate when I see the elder care atty sadly. The house has a reverse mortgage on it and turns out there may not really be much of a profit if it is sold, so I'm basically just going to let the house go to Medi-Cal if and when she ever needs NH care.
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If you are looking at Medicaid at any time even if in a written agreement the house is Moms asset and will need to be sold for her care. Now if you can prove you have been her caregiver for a certain number of years you may be allowed to live there. You will be responsible for taxes, utilities and upkeep. Moms SS and any pension will go to offset her care. Even the 2k she spends down to has to go towards her personal needs, no bills other than health.
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Akaheba,
Read here (too much to copy)
https://www.payingforseniorcare.com/medicaid/caregiver-child-exemption.html
"What is the Caregiver Child Exemption?
The Caregiver Child Exemption, also known as the Caretaker Child Exception and the Adult Child Caregiving Exemption, enables an elderly individual to transfer their home to their adult child without violating Medicaid's Look Back Period on asset transfers. Medicaid's 5-year look back is a rule that considers the asset transfers a Medicaid applicant has made in the 60 months prior to their application, and if found in violation, can result in a period of Medicaid ineligibility. (The one exception to this rule is California, which has a more lenient look-back period of 30 months.) The Caregiver Child Exception is an exception to the look back rule. Therefore, seniors can transfer their home to their adult child and continue to be or gain eligibility for Medicaid.
The Caregiver Child Exemption allows adult children to care for their parents at home as opposed to moving them into a Medicaid-funded assisted living residence or nursing home. It is a Medicaid-sanctioned method that enables the adult child to be compensated for their caregiving in the form of a transfer of the parent's home. The home would have otherwise have to be sold and the proceeds used to pay for nursing home / assisted living care.
To qualify for the Caregiver Child Exception, the caregiver child must live in the home with his or her parent for at least two years prior to the parent’s admittance to a nursing home or assisted living facility. In addition, the adult child must provide a level of care that prevents the senior from needing to relocate to one of the above mentioned facilities during this time period."

Does your mother have (that you will inherit the house) written in a will or trust? Is your name on the house?
I doubt very seriously if any legal or government office settling your mother's estate would "take your sister's word" that your mother wanted you to inherit the whole house.


Margaret,
Definition from Dictionary.com
Telecommuting-Working at home by using a computer terminal electronically linked to one's place of employment.

Hope this helps.
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Akaheba Sep 30, 2018
Thank you SueC. That is a lot of great information. I really appreciate your taking the time to post.
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My immediate thought was ‘exception to what?’. Where I am, it might be an exemption for daughter from Stamp Duty on the transfer, or an exemption from Capital Gains Tax for mother. Where you are, it might be an exemption from the Medicaid look-back period on gifting. All these things will have different rules, and it might also depend on whether you are looking for an exemption from State or Federal requirements. I am also not sure what you mean by ‘telecommute’ - do you live there and work by the telecommute, or vice versa? It would be good to get a better idea about what you have heard about this exemption, so that people with experience will be able to answer helpfully.
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Akaheba Sep 30, 2018
MargaretMcKen - By telecommute, I mean that I work at home for a company (doing medical transcription) I work and live in the same house with Mom, which allows me to care for her.
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