How to protect new assets AFTER being on Medicaid?

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Mom has been on Medicaid for a couple of years now. When she first signed up she lived only on her small social security check and has zero assets. She's had health issues and thankfully Medicaid has paid for her surgeries and provides a home health aide on a daily basis. I am her only child, live an hour away and do what I can to help. I've paid her bills with her checking account because she mishandled her ss check many times. I now have power of attorney. Here's where this gets interesting: we just found out her father left her some money in his will. I'm afraid that Medicaid will just take this money or knock her off the program. Can anyone advise me on what I should do?

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Thank you all for your helpful suggestions. I have no plans on "hiding" the money or committing fraud. Just looking for some experienced people that have had similar situations. :)
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We had a similar situation with our family member and we reported the inheritance to N.H. Medicaid and they allowed us to spend the money down. Every state has different rules about how quickly you have to report the "income" and how quickly that money must be spent. We had to report the $'s when my family member received them and we had to spend that money within a 30 day time period so that he was in compliance with N.H. maximum $'s allowed on a monthly basis. ($2000 at that time) then, when we did our recertification in May we had to provide all the financial documentation, receipts, money in and money out, to the state. Also be aware that you can defer receipt the these funds/inheritance until you and your mother have had time to contact the state and understand what you can and cannot do with that money and how it needs to be reported. Some states allow individuals to spend the money on necessary items for the individual, ie. a car or other things not covered by Medicaid. Definitely do your homework and get as much assistance as possible. Good luck!
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Medicaid is a social program for the poor with very little assets. That is what it is for. Do not attempt to hide that money, it is down right fraud to the taxpayers.
Since they have been caring for her care, use it to continue paying for her care now. People need to stop looking at medicaid as an entitlement!!!!!!
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You need to check with how your state's reporting requirements are done. My mom is in a NH and on Medicaid and still owns her home (which has insurance which I pay for but still under her name). There was a hail storm which meant she got insurance $ to repair the hail damage. BUT it also meant that her bank account got the insurance $. So in her annual recertification for Medicaid, I included the insurance check to her; the check from her to the roofers so it was a zero sum gain. Even then (with front and back copies of all the checks), I still had to fill out an additional form with details on the "income" and done within 14 days. You just can't let your guard down or ignore timeliness when dealing with Medicaid
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It is required to report this money. Not doing so is fraud. It is likely, the SRU (state recovery unit) where you live already knows or will know soon about the inheritance, especially if her father ever had any type of state assistance. Like OncehatedDIL said, check your state's Medicaid website for the rules. The inheritance will probably be treated as a one-time lump sum payment the first month and then a resource thereafter, which has different rules for Medicaid or Food Stamps (SNAP) and if it exceeds $2000, she won't be eligible for Medicaid. There are strict rules regarding spend down. There may be options of setting up a medical trust for her needs. The best thing to do in my opinion is be honest and you and her have a discussion with her eligibility case manager for her Medicaid. The CM will tell you all the rules and your options BUT once you tell them anything, they must consider that information verified on receipt and must act on it. She may lose the Medicaid, but not necessarily forever. When she passes, your state's SRU will seek recovery from her estate anyway. It really is better to be up front and know your options from the start rather than later and finding out there was something you could have done better. Hope this helps and happy holidays to you. Bless you for caring for her.
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Check your state's Medicaid website. In Texas you have to inform them when she has over $2,000 in her account. In some states the money won't change her status with Medicaid for her current eligibility year. She may have to spend it on her care before being eligible in the future.
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