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My mother is in a PA nursing home and Medicaid pays for her stay. Her granddaughter is getting married and my mother would like to give her a $2000 wedding gift. Can she do that?

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In Texas Medicaid states that if you have money to give to someone else, you can pay that money for your own care. The assets allowed to be kept are intended to provide care and benefits to the person in care like funeral, nicer wheelchair, clothes, extras that Medicaid does not pay for. Just sayin'.
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In PA the limit is $8000, not $2000. Yes the granddaughter IS my daughter and she is the only granddaughter she has. She has one grandson, also mine. I have explained to my mom that my daughter doesn't care if she gives her a gift (poor choice of words but you get the drift) but
my mother is insisting on helping to pay and give a gift. My son is ok with probably not getting a gift in later years. I will call Medicaid on Tuesday to get a firm answer. Thanks for your ideas and suggestions.
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I found this online, on a NOLO site:
"To qualify for Medicaid in Pennsylvania, you must also have few resources, or assets. The resource limit for individuals whose income is below 300% of the FBR ($2,163/month in 2014) is $2,000 for an individual, but the program also “disregards” $6,000 in assets, so you can actually have up to $8,000 in resources and still qualify."

I don't know if this "disregarding" of assets is unique to PA, but I think most of us have not experienced it. Hence our confusion.

Medicaid pays for Mom's nursing home, and Mom probably gets a person needs allowance of about $45. Has this been adequate for her hair care, extra treats, and things that cost money? Has she not had to dip into her $8,000 reserve? If she is now getting by without using the $8,000 reserve she can probably get by with a $5,000 reserve. After all, most nursing home people on Medicaid in other states get by with $2,000.

Does Mom have other grandchildren? Has she contributed to their weddings or life milestones in this way? Are there younger ones who might not get this treatment when they marry in a few years?

I don't know what, if any, restrictions there are on the reserve money. For my mother it was only $2,000 and she had to dip into it from time to time to be able to afford her hair appointments. So the question of gifting any of her money never came up for us.

In your case, I would contact Mom's Medicaid case worker and ask about restrictions on using that $8,000. If she is allowed to gift it, then I'd think hard about how this might impact family dynamics and future expectations. If it is what Mom really wants, and it won't cause hardship or ill-will in the family, and it is legal, go for it!
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Allene, can you explain what the $8000 limit is? I think most of us are used to a $2000 ceiling on what Medicaid recipients can retain of their own money. How is it that she has $8000 available? That would help us understand the situation better.
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In PA the resident can keep $8000. She wants to help pay for the wedding ($2000) and give $1000 as a gift. She is 95 years old and wants to do this but I'm afraid she won't be able to.
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Since she cannot have over $2000 in her account, what you propose would totally empty her PNA account and leave her with no funds for any personal needs. So let's apply some common sense. If you are POA and the bride is your daughter, there is also a serious conflict of interest. Don't risk legal problems.
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I imagine that the rule on gifting that applies before Medicaid is approved will also apply when receiving it. I would use her money only for her care. The granddaughter will probably understand that she does not have the money to provide the gift she would like to give her.
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I'd check the rules in her state with an expert, but, if I recall correctly, the recipient of Medicaid can have no more than $2000. in assets.(Excluding house and one car.) Is it wise to give all she has as a gift? PLUS, I think that the funds the recipient retains for themselves is supposed to only be used for their own needs, such as clothes, toiletries, shoes, meds, etc.
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