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Elaine if you can please please try to get them to use a debit card or if that seems too daunting, if there’s 2 or 3 stores that are main ones shopped at over & over, buy them a reloadable shopping card from that grocery store, Target, Whatever. You should be able to go online to see the spends & reload for them. Please heed 97yroldmoms advice, they can be easily be robbed or taken advantage of.

RE concerns about Medicaid review, couple of things, as they are a couple, applying for 1 for LTC Medicaid while the other stays living as a CS (community spouse) is really not simple. Only 1 of them have to meet Medicaid impoverished levels. CS has to establish their own income and assets segregated from the NH spouse. But it cannot imho really get done till right before the Nh spouse goes to apply for Medicaid. But whatever $ move done has to get done and show up in bank statements before NH spouse applies as Medicaid does a “snapshot day” for couples to which finances are affixed to. It’s not simple & combined with the “what if’s” from cash spending, really as DPOA you need to get advice from an elder law atty ahead of any Medicaid application.

On what Medicaid does, ime they look for a “pattern of spending”. That’s what you as DPOA need to think abt. When they apply for LTC Medicaid (for 1 of them -or even both-to be admitted into Nh or AL), they submit their awards letters (these are annual letter sent Nov/Dec that state to the penny what they will get paid from SS, pensions, etc), along with details on housing (if they still own a home, rent or live with family), & several months of bank statements (so Medicaid knows balance on savings, checking etc.) Medicaid caseworker has a equation that data goes into. And it can determine if $ they now have makes sense for their situation.
Remember for LTC Medicaid they have only a maximum of 2k allowed in nonexempt assets for individual applications or 3k for couples. If equation red flags, then caseworker looks at bank statements to see if there’s something amiss, that looks sketchy. If doesn’t seem reasonable then caseworker contacts them or you.

Say they avg a combined $2100 mo SS$, rent apt 2k mo, had Jan. 2018 170k savings & costs of living for 2 is $950 mo. So if dad applied this month Sept 2020 and they are down to 3k in savings, somethings off. Income btw 2018 - now $69300 & COL/rent $97350. They are short $28,050 which obstensibly is coming via spend down from 170k savings. But $170000 - $28050 = $141,950. Should have around 130k-140k available. But they are at 3k. So in the words of the handsome & talented Ricky Ricardo, “Lucy jooou have some esplainin’ to jou”.

For couples this gets complicated as CS can have their own assets. Amount set by each state but most $128k. If elder law atty had CS do that, it can sense to be at 3k. 141k - 128k = 13k. Close enough, Caseworker knows CS rules, it’s ok. But if not, then y’all are going to have to explain where $140k went to. As they are using cash, you have to start finding receipts for big spends.

You as dpoa need to look at financials to see if anything outside of usual pattern for spending that could be an issue... and get a response ready if need be. Like For my mom, insurance $ for roof damage which took months to payout as she was on a wait list for repairs & they didn’t deposit check till actually done, caseworker noticed it but ok as there was matchup. But she had car repairs, ck.’s written out in name of mechanic that were over 1k & looked like “gifting”. That he asked abt & I faxed over receipt that matched up to 1 ck & caseworker was all ok.

Caseworker knows they don’t live on air. But if there’s a discrepancy, you imho need to be ready with reasonable answer for how the $ got spent. If you know LTC Medicaid on the horizon, please get with elder law atty sooner than later as couples stuff imho is not a DIY. Good luck.
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Reply to igloo572
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Building on what you said about home upgrades, mom is now living with the husband and myself. I know she can pay rent, utilities and groceries as part of her every day expenses but can she contribute to a home repair as well since it is now "her home." For instance, we will be living in Florida and if the air conditioning needs repair or replacement can she pay a portion of that expense without Medicaid making an issue?
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Reply to dgcctoth
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FloridaDD Sep 29, 2020
It is not her home unless she is on the deed.  If she is already paying FMV rent, NO.
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No not a problem with Medicaid but a huge problem if they go around with a lot of cash on them. There are people who target elders who always pay in cash. They will follow them from the bank to the grocery to their home and rob them. Caution them to be discreet with their cash.
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Reply to 97yroldmom
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No, that kind of stuff doesn't matter. My mom never had a credit card and paid cash for everything.
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Reply to mollymoose
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No, not at all. Medicare expects seniors to have normal expenses just as we all do. What they DO NOT EXPECT is for Seniors to put down payments on kid's homes and put the grandson through college.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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No, they are allowed to spend their own money on themselves. Medicaid frowns on them giving it away in large sums. Or buying a car for a family member. Or helping with a downpayment on a house for someone else. Medicaid look back in most states is 5 yrs. They review bank statement to see if there are amy large amounts going out. Hopefully there will be a good reason, like putting a new roof on the house. Or some upgrade to the house. But if there is a large sum of money and its found it was a loan or a gift, there will beca penalty period.
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