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Igloo - I agree with you, absolutely. The first time we asked one of my mother's doctors about it she responded "Well, you got here, didn't you?" Meaning she was clearly not disabled enough to require nursing home care - not even housebound, even though someone else (me) had to driver her to the doc, help her in and out of the car and building, etc.

My point in responding to the OP was that it takes more than poverty to qualify for a Medicaid nursing home. It takes a very extreme level of disability, as your experience bears out.
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Carla - medically being "at need" for Medicaid when they are still living at home or in IL is quite the challenge. Most (like 80%) go into a NH via post hospitalization for"rehab" & they don't progress so stay. They have the nice fat file to pass review. But for those at home... No fat file.

Short of tossing taking them skydiving to break a hip, its going to require work and months of md vists to show "need" in a health chart. I moved my mom from IL to a Nh and totally bypassed the AL phase. For her the key was having a gerontologist who also was the medical director of a NH as they know what needs to be in the chart. My moms gerontology group were directors at several NH. It took about 5 mos of every 3 -5 week visits with labs & testing done. The visit mom had a 10% weight loss and bad H&H lab report he wrote the orders for skilled nursing care needed. Also some other changes, like goingfrom Exelon pill to Exelon patch as it requires more skill to apply (plus for us, my mom had rotor cuff repair so couldn't do it), changing another med to be one needed to be compounded daily. Documenting co-mobidities that might not always be written up - like heart disease monitoring or peripheral vision tests - also helped fill out chart to show "need". I've found that most family practice docs or internists try to keep the chart and IDC -10 codes at a minimum, which is just what you don't want if they need to show "need". It's going to take a more creative approach in my experience.
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kiki47, I am just curious how does your Mom maintain the utilities, property taxes, homeowner's insurance, and other expenses for her house with less than $2k in cash on hand? Or does her Social Security pay for same, groceries, etc.?
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Also, what Pam said. You can't transfer assets away to get down under $2000, within the previous five years.
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It depends on monthly income as well as assets. But most importantly, it depends on her degree of disability. Medicaid has to determine that she requires a nursing home level of care - that depends on being unable to manage certain "activities of daily living" such as toileting, bathing, feeding oneself, etc. Basically, the state will perform a medical evaluation to determine if your mother requires a nursing home level of care.

I don't know the details because I know my own mother wouldn't qualify. She can do all the activities of daily living for herself at this point - her needs have more to do with housekeeping, home maintenance, transportation, shopping and errands, etc. These are considered "instrumental" activities of daily living and are not enough for a Medicaid determination.

You can have your mother evaluated for Medicaid if you think she may be eligible based on her disabilities. You can google how to get a Medicaid evaluation in Florida and you should come up with it.
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That depends on how she got down to $2K in cash. If in the last five years she gave anything away or sold it at less than market value, then NO.
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