Will gifts or loans disqualify my parents for Medicaid?


My folks need help making their medicare supplement payments and living expenses now.. Does GIFTING them money for rent or medical expenses disqualify them for medicaid? Will LOANING them money disqualify them?


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Unfortunately, gifts and loans count, to the best of my knowledge. It is very frustrating to be where your folks are. You need to talk to an estate attorney or elder attorney who knows Medicaid, but I think this will count. My heart breaks for you now. This is a very hard thing to be going through. Do check it out, however. I could be wrong.

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Social Security offers a NEW plan to help with Medicare costs (yes, one govt agency providing funds to help pay another agency's costs). Call your SS office and ask for Form SSA-1020 (Help With Medicare). There are rigid eligibility guidelines but perhaps you can qualify.

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Any amount of money during the look back years but when I was starting the paperwork for medicaide they were very interested in any withdrawals of $1000.00 , You need an honest elder lawyer to assist you do not use one who gives free meals at semeniars after they meet with you for your FREE hour and you pay a goodly amount of money they do not know you when you need them to honor their pie in the sky promises like we can HIDE money the year before a person goes into a nursing home when the time comes the answer changes to you can not do anything at this time.
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Can elderly parents gift money to a family caregiver for services without endangering or impacting Medicaid eligibility should they subsequently enter a nursing home?
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Dale - your ? is tagged onto a very old post, you might want to do this again a a new free-standing ?.

Your parents can do it BUT you need to have a "Personal Services Contract" done by an attorney - really this ideally should be drawn up by an elder care &/or estate planning specialist of an attorney. If done correctly, the PSC payments are not viewed as gifting or transferring of assets. But it needs to be done to whatever will pass the sniff test for your state's Medicaid review. Each state does Medicaid slightly differently so there is no 1 answer to all this. You could make the most of the attorney time and do all the other legals needed or update what may have been done in the past.

The PSC needs to be within your parents community standards. What you can do (and will save time & $ @ the law office) is to contact 3 or 4 home health care agencies. Schedule appointments for them to come out to your parents home and get estimates from them as to what's what. This gives you the baseline for community standards tailored to what is needed for your folks. This is also good if later on 3 yrs from now, you get challenged on the amount you have been paid as you have documentation that your folks need $ 3,200 a mo in service rather than $1k.I did a home health agency for my mom prior to her going into IL. Most services require a 4 hr minimum 3 times a week at about $ 20 hr. Some agencies require a letter or Rx from the doctor stating what they need, like they are a "fall risk" or a timed prescription client. Also you can work in your mileage as an expense in the PSC.

IMHO your parents should have the following done:
- Durable Power of Attorney (not just POA)
- Medical Power of Attorney

- Living Will &/or Advance Directives (DNR)
- Declaration of Guardian in Event of Incapacity

- HIPAA Waiver

- Will or a Living Trust

I'm a firm believer in having an elder care attorney take care of all this. It will not be expensive as most is done by the paralegals. You do want to go in prepared with what the information is for the documents (e.g. the residence located at 123 ABC street, aka parcel #5678; Ann Smith, wife of John Smith, with the info on all the births, deaths & prior marriages) as well as valid ID for the elders. If the decisions have been already made, this should all simple, straightforward paperwork. Should take 1 - 2 hrs for intake & then 1 hr a couple of days later for the signatures to be done. The law office usually keeps a copy and gives you an original. You might want to have them do more originals - keep 1 at home; 1 in a safe deposit and another to whomever is listed as the alternative or second DPOA. Request this at the initial visit and remind them - it will be lots cheaper than having to do this later.

If your parent have assets, then all this should be paid from their assets. This also is important if you ever get challenged. If you pay for all, and you benefit, then other family could go to court to find it a coerced document. Good luck.
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