Has anyone dealt with applying for Medicaid LTC before it is actually needed? My mother would qualify now for nursing home care, but I would like to keep her at home unless it is not possible for me to provide her care. I have been caring for her for 9 years with a slow but noticible decline over the years. My fear is that a day will come when I can care for her at home. If I applied for Medicaid today, there would be a penalty assessed for money she had given away several years ago but within the look back period. Not a significant amount but about $20,000 over that period. If you apply and are denied because of the penalty, when does that penalty phase actually take effect if I'm still caring for her at home? Not looking for specifics just a general idea how it works.