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The lawyer wants to put “excess income “ in pooled trust to qualify my mother for Medicaid. I looked at the budget & it doesn’t include accurate monthly expenses....so this would make income look higher...Lawyer filed application but is pushing for a pooled trust, which has a lot of confusion like monthly fees & deposit requirements...& mom would lose one month deposit...which has to be maintained at all times!! & they won’t pay first bills until 2 months pass!! So her bills would be late! I don’t know, but I feel that if I did this application myself, then I would have accurately included moms monthly expenses...which would eliminate the need for a pooled trust! I don’t feel comfortable with the whole thing ...when J applied for VA Aid & Attendance, I did it myself & was able to control the numbers/dollars that went into application...I put accurate numbers...which included caregiver expenses...which zeroed out all income. But lawyer didn’t include any of her monthly expenses ...then lawyer pushed for pooled trust which law firm has interest in...to me it’s lacking independence & is a Related Party transaction..anyone have experience with this?

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I’m not afraid of paperwork, as I prepare my mother’s taxes & did that for a living for a long time....however, unnecessary paperwork is a nuisance & btw have a million other things to do....I was hoping to do the CDPAP program, but doing the numbers & $$$, l would have to get paid 5 months just to break even....with the $$$ required balance of the pooled trust!!!! It don’t make sense (cents) to me...does it make sense to any of you? Monday I went myself to Medicaid office to fill out a form for them to rebudget her expenses....& as I was driving away remembered I should’ve questioned why Aid & Attendance was included in her Gross Income!?! Why didn’t Lawyer catch this? & they called It employment income!! My Dad was WWII Vet & she’s entitled to it & I fought for her to get it...now Medicaid sees it & wants that too?!? They’re like great white sharks 🦈....I don’t intend to pay a dime of surplus or pay into pooled trust where she could lose so much $$$. I am her poa & health proxy so I have to make best financially sound decisions possible.. & if she comes out on short end of stick, will fight it!
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Marcia7321 Jul 19, 2018
You sound like you are on top of this. Re: Aid and Attendance, I believe the rules as to whether or not Medicaid counts that money as income vary from state to state. But, as I recall, the option to the pooled trust was to "spend down" any income that was over the limit on allowable expenses..and they were really broad categories. It sounded like almost anything- just as long as it was for the patient- was okay to spend the money on. (But we were applying for Community Medicaid which has slightly different rules than Medicaid for a nursing home.)
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Even though this is being handled by a Case Manager, I paid huge amount 2 yrs ago this August....$7,500!!!! & this is what I get
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Marcia7321 Jul 17, 2018
That is terrible. I do know we were offered options to a pooled trust. We decided against them because they involved a lot of paperwork . You sound like that wouldn't be a problem for you. Ask your lawyer what are your options to a pooled trust. Tell the lawyer you don't like the terms of the pooled trust they offered to you and you want a different trust with better terms.

https://www.specialneedsalliance.org/pooled-trust-directory/

Hopefully, there is a lawyer on this site who might tell you what your options are when you pay for legal advice and only get one option offered to you that the lawyer has a stake in. That's terrible.
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16 months is a huge red flag. Not all lawyers have an ounce of integrity or a spoonful of brains. Sounds like you got lucky and found one that has both afflictions.

Get a second opinion and if the lawyer bucks about it, that is a waving red flag. These guys forget, the paying customer is the BOSS.

Best of luck getting all of this sorted to your satisfaction.
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Marcia7321 Jul 17, 2018
It sounds to me as if the Medicaid application is being handled by a Case Worker/Lawyer. This is often "free" and so they are often overwhelmed with cases. A consultation with an impartial Elder Care Attorney might cost a couple of hundred dollars but, honestly, 16 months and bad terms on your pooled trust is costing you money, too.
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It’s Medicaid Home care & the lawyer (Case Manager) been working on this since I discharged my mother from nursing home 16 months ago! I was under the impression that it would only take between 1-3 months & now got this approval but since mom has a “surplus “ , lawyer wants me to put it in pooled trust. However they require 2 months deposit & only then bills would be paid! The trust would end up keeping $$$ if something happened to mom! I just don’t feel comfortable with the whole thing. Maybe it’s the lack of control since Ive been paying moms bills for a very long time.
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Marcia7321 Jul 17, 2018
Definitely get a second opinion. You don't seem to think there is surplus income. Even if there is, there are options to a pooled trust for surplus income. Maybe you would like one of those better.

Or you might find a pooled trust with better terms and fees than the one being offered to you.

The pooled trust will keep any money if your mom dies. That's how they work. The lawyer will also charge a fee for setting up the pooled trust, in my experience.

nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/pooled-special-needs-trusts.html
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Are you applying for nursing home Medicaid or Community Medicaid? There is a big difference.

If it's NH medicaid, there's not going to be any money to pay bills.

It sounds like the lawyer thinks you're applying for NH.
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CaregiverL Jul 19, 2018
Community Medicaid—she’s home ; not in nursing home now; she was in nursing home but Home now 16 months
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We have set up a pooled trust. However, if you don't trust the lawyer and you haven't had all your questions answered to your satisfaction, you would be foolish to proceed with them.

Maybe get a second opinion? Pooled trusts themselves are very common and nothing to worry about. But not trusting your lawyer is a problem.
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I understand to qualify for Medicaid either a pooled trust or a spend down are the two ways available if the applicant isn’t already broke.
Hopefully someone will answer your question who has had the experience.
Is the attorney a certified elder attorney with experience in trusts and Medicaid? If so maybe you need to ask a few more questions and/or get a second opinion.
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