My mother, currently under New York's home-care Medicaid , just received a large payment from the Veterans Admin (as a surviving spouse) after over two years of arbitration. When I initially applied, she was in assisted living, and the payment was to offset the costs of the facility. The VA did not approve immediately and I had to assist in paying from my personal savings as my mom's savings were insufficient.
During the interim as I fought the VA to get my mom her due payments, we switched services and applied and qualified for Medicaid homecare services where she could return to her rented apartment with 24-hour care. This obligated us to adhere to the spend-down income and asset structure.
After multiple VA interactions we finally won the case but, I now have a set of uncashed checks from the VA including one large check covering two+ years of monthly VA pension payments and a set of regular monthly checks. I have neither acknowledged receipt nor cashed these checks for fear of disrupting my current Medicaid homecare and the inevitable Medicaid nursing home application.
1) Am I able to deposit this larger check and have my mom repay me to help offset payments that I paid to cover my mom's assisted living care two years ago? I have kept all receipts and have evidence of my personal payments.
2) How do I go about recalculating spend-down to accommodate this new VA income? Medicaid told me to just advise the local office and let them figure it but, I am afraid that Medicaid will tell me I am over the limit and cancel my mom's Medicaid.
3) Looking to the future, how will my actions affect mom's eligibility for nursing home care with the 5-year lookback? These are legitimate debts to my wife and me.
I have already informed the VA that mom now receives Medicaid. They may reduce the monthly payment to the minimum but, I still would need to deal with a large un-cashed check.