If I pursue and file to claim unclaimed funds, will Medicaid be owed anything? - AgingCare.com

If I pursue and file to claim unclaimed funds, will Medicaid be owed anything?

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Hi everyone...my mom was on Medicaid and in a nursing home, and she passed away earlier this year. I was her POA. My dad is also deceased. I don't know why, but something told me to check online for "unclaimed funds." (I swear, I think my mom was sending me this message). Anyway, I found that both of my parents have some sort of unclaimed funds. My question is this: If I pursue and file to claim these funds, will Medicaid be owed anything/try to re-coup? Will I be sued? I have no idea what the funds are, and had absolutely no knowledge of them until now. Thank you for any advice!

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Spot on correct CountryMouse.
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Well. Medicaid certainly won't demand more than you can recover; and you can demonstrate that you weren't aware of these unclaimed funds so you can't be suspected of any monkey business. So the worst that can happen, surely, is that you spend a certain amount of your time mainly for the benefit of the public purse - but is that such a bad thing? And the best that can happen is that you end up with a modest windfall.

It's all good - better find out what your parents were owed!
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It stops month of death. I had to send check of July back. He died mid OF JULY. It does not seem fair. I will was his check 1st of July
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My understanding is that If your parent wants to continue to keep their home, they can. Some states allow this for thier lifetime, others set a time limit on its exempt status. Then upon death, becomes an asset of their estate. If family / heirs open probate, then however probate runs for your state for claims against the estate & its assets will apply for MERP.

Like for TX, it's a Level of Claim by Class for probate. MERP is a class 7 claim. So everything in Class 1 - 6 (executor costs,legal fees, property costs, any secured creditors) have to be settle first. They are priority claims. Add to this that MERP is unsecured Class 7. CC are Class 8.

For a lower value or modest property, the claims from 1 - 6 could take recovery into not being cost-effective.

Also If the property was vacant for all the time the elder was in a NH and family kept meticulous records on all costs paid on property, they could file for an exclusion of all those costs from the Medicaid tally if your state has this exclusion in their laws. TX administrative code allows for taxes, insurance, normal maintenance and needed repairs to be exclusions. Between property costs, probate costs, other probatable expenses...... If the property is somewhat low value, it may not be cost-effective to persue
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If you're in administrative/settlement stages and learn of resources I would think those funds would be owed the state. If the state is unaware, I would speak to an attorney to determine if you must report any such policies to the state. If it's big amounts I would think yes, small amounts maybe not.
If the state gets the money anyway, I would not put myself through an exercise unless absolutely required. If you are already discharged of your duties by the court are you still responsible for handling future claims to her estate?
If the state thinks your parent's were fraudulent in not reporting an asset, maybe it can reopen a separate legal claim?? If you don't report this new knowledge, are you outside the law? I'd ask the attorney that as well. If you have no additional reporting requirements as of now, I would leave it alone.
There is a certain number of years in which heirs can claim insurance proceeds. If you can legally leave it alone, don't open up a can of worms. Even if the state has no claim to these funds, just opening the can requires the state to respond or request more information from you. I would make certain whether or not I was required to do any legwork for the state. The state has the resources to pursue if needed.
I would like to know if MERP can reopen a claim within a set number of years or indefinitely.
If existing claims settled or dissolved due to a lack of assets the estate no longer exists. If family later becomes aware of such assets after the estate settled through Probate, tax filings etc. heirs or potential heirs are hopefully not required open up a can of worms. I've never heard if MERP has an open ended, indefinite authority to forever pursue a deceased parent's estate, potentially ensnaring innocent heirs. Can MERP can go after funds/heirs of deceased parent's after an estate is closed and the court has released the executor? I would like to know why you would have to reopen or revisit Medicaid issues that were for your parent. You were not responsible for your parent/s debts, but might be responsible for not reporting something you learned about afterwards. I would asure ask an attorney to determine if you have any reporting responsibilities at this point in time - especially if the estate has yet to settle.
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MERP is required to attempt a recovery of costs paid. BUT recovery needs to be "cost effective" as per federal rules

Regarding cost effectiveness, there are specific amounts:
- recovery under 3k
- value of recoverable estate under 10k. This one gets into the probate process as there are costs within probate from atty fees, property maintenance, funeral cost, executor expenses which are usually priority claims against the estate. MERP is an unsecured claim and where it is in the claims against the estate conga line depends on your states probate laws.

Your states Medicaid website should have info on this.

So to me, finding out how much $ possibly in unclaimed would be the first things to do. So if Merp could get involved. And then what documents you need to show it an be paid to you if claimant is deceased. Some states are pretty transparent on all this. Others not. My state, Louisiana, started doing a huge unclaimed funds roadshow a couple of years ago when we got a more consumer friendly Treasury Secretary. Publicized it and what was needed to claim funds. Lines were out the doors at the malls where they were held. Huge # of old accounts, returned insurance checks, etc due to the diaspora from Hurricane Katrina.
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