Medicaid spend down - spend money on what?

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Mother in hospital in May; NH since then - she's 83, blind, cannot walk. Applied for medicaid, was accepted but has a $14k (from 2 CDs) spend down. CDs are in both our names - was to be mine when she dies for being her 24/7 caretaker for last 10 years. Since May she now has about $25k in medical bills. I cashed the 2 cds and put the $ in her checking account. Now how do I spend it? Pay it all on the medical bills? Spend it on her/her house? I'm confused about what I have to spend it on. Don't want to do anything wrong.

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A pretty young girl thinks she has no need to be a feminist. There will always be a man around who is willing to take care of her.

The rest of us know or have learned that life happens, and you can't count on anything to last forever. I'm reading "The Two-income Trap" by Elizabeth Warren and her daughter, which is a real eye-opener about people who try to do the right thing and end up deep in debt. She shows how some of the changes supported by feminists have actually hurt women. (Not most of them, but some.)
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Igloo: Medicaid is a maze to say the least and within the institution the right hand does not seem to know what the left hand is doing either, which makes the entire situation worse. Your knowledge and insight is appreciated when it comes to this entire mess. I know you have gained your knowledge the hard way.....lived it, I just feel so worn out by everything I am expected to do that by the time evening rolls around and I can sit down to read, my mind goes numb!!!

I was in high school during the feminist movement and I am more than willing to give up my bra although I am sure others around me would appreciate it if I kept it! When I graduated from High School the term "Career Woman" had just been coined. I remember my mother telling me "If you think you are going to be some Career Woman, well you can just get that thought out of your mind!" The only other alternative was "Barefoot and Pregnant." I'll still choose the feminist route for the most part.

Thank you again for sharing your knowledge!
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Rave - thanks.....I think I will title it, "the bad bitch approach to dealing with medicaid & your elders" with the Moonstruck "snap out of it" as it's gif.

None of the maddening mice maze of Medicaid, NH, AL, IL, etc is easy to begin with much less when there are competing family dynamics at play and decisions have to be made when it's a crisis. What I find especially of concern is that overwhelmingly so much of all this is a women's issue and we are viewed with little or no value to what we contribute to caregiving as far as the regulations are concerned. What we do is for free & out of "love & responsibility" with no value placed on it.

Now we don't know the background on keppelish. But her post, like so many, many others on this site reads as a posting from someone who has been long-term caregiver and then when mom or dad needs to go into a facility find themselves with limited finances and the possibility of not being able to afford a place to live. Those years of not being in the workforce is not rewarded, has no compensation and they find themselves at the point of parents house has to be sold either to pay for care or they cannot afford to maintain the house. If Keppelish needs to continue to live in the home and is able to spend-down the money on the house and by doing this gives her several months of breathing room to figure out her (her not mom's) finances, that is better use of the funds than paying the NH.

It's important to know if you elder has a home in just how your state views property ownership and what the Medicaid exemptions are and how they have to be documented in order to benefit from them. Most regulations are written by men with their somewhat limited viewpoint (lol) in the value of free work done by women. The money is there for the NH to be paid, but the money isn't there to pay for family caregivers by & large to do the same at home at a much lower cost than a NH. Based on the 4 NH for my mom & MIL, I'd say 40% of the residents could still be at home if there was a way to pay their caregivers directly. It is a totally inefficient use of $. I wasn't much of a feminist when I was younger (my hubby who is late 60's actually marched in Women's stuff when he was in college in the 1960's, which is something we joke about), but now as a woman in my 50's, I can really see just how much of a disadvantage women are in having the resources we need to age in the US. It's critical that we try to understand how stuff is set up so we can use the knowledge to our best long-tem advantage. Now I'm not about going back to the bra-burning past - omg I totally depend on really good $$ bra's to make me happy - but if I can spread a bit of knowledge, it makes my day.
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Igloo: You need to write a book from a caregiver experience, all the things you have learned. You are a wealth of information.
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Kepp - so mom still has her home?
How are items for the home - taxes, insurance, utitlites, upkeep. etc - being paid?
Is there a mortgage on the home?

Do you need to home to have a place to live? Or do you have your own home & independently of mom's home? I ask all this because if you need to have the home in order to have a place to live, then I'd suggest putting the majority of the spend-down money on the home. Like paying a years worth of insurance, several months of utilities, etc.

As her caregiver for several years (you will need documentation on this), you can qualify for the caregiver exemption on the property from Medicaid estate recovery.
This is good but often having the house is an issue in & of itself. Realize that Medicaid requires them to do a monthly co-pay of all their income less whatever is your states personal needs allowance ($ 35 - 90 a month). So mom will NOT have any money to pay for things for the home anymore from her SS or retirement. You will have to be paying for everything on the home. This may or may not be feasible. You need to look at your finances to see what can work.

What seems to happen so often is that although family may want to keep the home, the reality is that they cannot afford to pay for all on the home for the possibly many months or years of their parents NH stay. If you are working, then it can work but if you have been an unpaid caregiver, there just isn't the $ to do this. So the house ends up being sold and the $ from the sale goes to a "spend-down" on mom's care. You want to do whatever to make sure that the caregiver exemption gets done so that you become the owner of the property, so that if you need to sell it later on the $ from the sale is yours without any issues with Medicaid. Really you need an elder care attorney to work this out so that whatever is done will be in compliance with how Medicaid runs in your state. Good luck!
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I think we all need to hire Elder Care Attorneys. I never thought I would put my Mom in a NH so it was not an issue for me, however Mom is getting worse and I cannot handle her alone, everything is changing and I need help too!
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My mom has no money just monthly social security. All money is gone due to a reverse mortgage. I cant get her qualified for Medicaid since she lives with me. Should I hire an elder attorney to help?
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ValerieK03, yes.
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My mom has no money just monthly social security. All money is gone due to a reverse mortgage. I cant get her qualified for Medicaid since she lives with me. Should I hire an elder attorney to help?
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My mom has no money just monthly social security. All money is gone due to a reverse mortgage. I cant get her qualified for Medicaid since she lives with me. Should I hire an elder attorney to help?
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