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Her income is $1,150 per month. She does own her own condo and has a small investment, which she adamantly wants to leave for her 4 children. I know that all of her assets would be used for her care if needed. The extra money from us gave her a bit extra to "enjoy" life a little.


We just stopped the deposit and will give her cash just in case.

You cannot pay directly to her or directly to the vendor ANYTHING that is considered room and board and food; that includes rent, utilities (except telephone), food (groceries or meals out), etc. You can pay anything else just don't give the money to her. Believe me we have been through this with my brother and I had to go through an appeal to straighten everything out. What many people do not know is that you can LOAN your loved one money that can be used for any purpose. However, be very careful that you properly document it. Google Medicare Loans and it will tell you exactly how to do it. Loans are not considered income; they are looked at more like a credit card account. So technically, you could "loan" your mother $200/month. That's the only way you could give her cash directly without jeopardizing her Medicaid benefits.
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Reply to CarolPeaches
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Do N O T give her any money - if it is not seen, it is not counted. Instead, YOU pay the bills or whatever you are giving her the money for. Pay for what she buys on YOUR credit card or with YOUR cash - do NOT give it to her.
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Reply to Riley2166
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Put some of her recurring bills in your name and pay them, examples would be adding Mom to your cell phone plan, putting her internet and tv into your name, things that are considered non essentials, not utilities,etc. Then when they ask about her bills and expenses, you can honestly list her rent, electricity, etc.
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Reply to LS2234
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Groceries and incidentals from her $2,000 allowable bank balance are not counted by Medicaid. But, expenses, such as to the care home, are counted into Medicaid as her spent down funds difference her total income does not cover. This means, if her Medicaid-approved vital care expenses exceed her income, Medicaid covers the difference.
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Reply to Patathome01
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Imho, you may want to amend that now just in case Medicaid looks poorly on it.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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Pay the expenses directly so the money is not counted as income by gifts. Then Medicaid cannot count what is not cash to recipient.
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Reply to Patathome01
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Direct pay to vendor (light bill, etc) is not counted as income. Rule of thumb, if the money crosses your palm or is accessible to you to spend as you wish, it counts. Infrequent money, like birthday or Christmas, should be excluded as well.

So if you give her cash money her budget could still require explanation. Ex: Your income is $1000 and your bills total $990 a month. How do you buy your meds? How do you buy groceries? etc. When the answer is my child gives me $200 cash a month and I use it for food and getting my hair done, it is countable income.

Pay a couple of bills direct and that will free up the same amount she is not spending out of her bank acct. She can use that freed up money for the extras she wants.
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Reply to my2cents
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Medicaid will treat that as income on her part. I did the same for my MIL while she was in assisted living, waiting for her medicaid voucher for the assisted living center. Her income was $1100 and her cost for the center was $2800, so all kids pitched in and paid it to her account. She now has to pay those amounts back to Medicaid in a form of a repayment. No budging on that.
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Reply to Becky66
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In Florida any income received is used to qualify for eligibility. Once eligible, the only rule is not to have over $2,000 total in her bank account. My mother qualified and we placed her in a medicaid approved assisted-living facility. She receives a set amount monthly paid directly to the ALF toward her rent . Rent is significantly higher than her income. Medicaid knows that supplemental income is needed to meet her additional rent. If the supplemental income is used toward rent, her care, etc. and not "excess" money to put in the bank, it is allowed. They electronically monitor her bank account.
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Reply to khumble
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Iits counted as income. It has to be taken out of their SSI benefits until paid. I believe they go back 3 years but I'm not for sure about that.could be longer.
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Reply to Carolsue
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Patathome01 Jun 25, 2020
FIve years.
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I know here in NY when gifting money to an elder that is considered income. I helped a lady apply for Medicaid and her grandson was giving her $10/week to pay her for gas to drive him to work. That counts as income. If he had bought the $10/wk of gas and put in her car it then wouldn’t count as income. I always tell people if they want to help someone out, actually pay a bill don’t give them the money.
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Reply to Nancynurse
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So as other have probably said to a large degree it’s going to depend on the State she is in. My brother has been supplementing our Moms income as well though mostly by paying directly for some things but sometimes by depositing needed funds into her account too. The family attorney who is a roll over from my grandmothers estate (long story) suggested drawing up a loan document for the money he has invested and maybe even a cushion before applying for Medicaid to make it clear this is not income. You might be well served by consulting with an attorney who specializes in estates and elder law, perhaps the one who drew up POA and medical wishes documents if that has all been done, many are doing teleconferencing appointments now so it might not be as difficult from far away as it used to be too.
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Reply to Lymie61
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I doubt giving her money would be an issue; the problem is her doing the gifting.
you should see an eldercare attorney for estate planning anyway. Medicaid laws vary from state to state.
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Reply to cetude
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How long have you been doing this?

It's a matter of whether Medicaid will look on voluntary gifts from you to her as to be included in calculating her income or not. I'd have thought probably not, actually - she's not entitled to the money, it's not earnings or investment returns or benefits. I'd give them a call and see what they say about it.

Lucky mother! :)
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Small Gifting can AFFECT eligibility..Make other arrangements now.
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Reply to Parise
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I am looking into the future for her as far as eligibility for Medicaid. She is not even aware that she has dementia and that she may need additional care. I know that all of her assets would be deminished for her care, if needed, and that her wish of leaving an inheritance would not happen.
I don't want to hurt her ability to qualify for Medicaid if it would be needed in the future knowing that there is a five year look back.
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Reply to Ginnysdaughter
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Isthisrealyreal Jun 22, 2020
Ginny call the local area on aging, they can help you understand the rules for her county and state. They are a great place to get resources information from.
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A gift through a direct deposit or handed over in cash IS income unless it's a small occasional thing as such as a birthday or Christmas present. A loan is not counted as income. She should be reporting this income for Medicaid or SNAP (Food Stamps). Is she possibly eligible for the Medicate Savings Program where the state will pay her Medicare premium for her? There are also income and assets limits to this program. Most people responding to this question are talking about eligibility for coverage with Medicaid with the concern about giving money away by the patient to become eligible for government benefits. This is the opposite situation where having this money given to her could affect benefits she may be eligible for now. Try seeing if she is eligible for assistance without trying to be dishonest about what you're doing.
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Reply to vegaslady
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The only problem with this could be if she is not using the money and building up a savings account, meaning she will have to self pay until she uses all this money. This means her little investment as well. In AZ money gifted would not be considered income to the senior, I would not put it on her application.

She will not be able to leave her children anything if she needs public assistance, that is the way it is and should be.

I would encourage her to designate something special to each heir, maybe a figurine or dish that is special to her and will bring back happy memories of her when used or seen. Personal items are exempt unless they are high value items that are traceable.

You are a lovely daughter to ensure that she has some money for doing things to enrich her life. Kudos to you for caring about that for her. It makes a world of difference.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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No, that would not affect Medicaid. Its the other way around that would affect it, if she was giving you money every month.
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Reply to mstrbill
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Lookback periods vary from state to state. In MN it's 5 yrs. And Medicaid qualification varies a lot also. Your mom is like mine, hoping to leave "something" to kids/grandkids but it's becoming less and less possible and best not to expect it. If you have siblings, they need to understand this also. I've had that discussion with my mom, daughter of immigrants, that I'm ok and she should use all her money on the best care for herself. She struggles with the fact that, as a single mom and being very frugal and self-denying, she still may not have "enough". It may be a good idea for your mom to invest in a consult with an elder law attorney who does estate planning and is familiar with Medicaid (in AZ). Also, I am very much in favor that she moves with you, no matter how resistant she is to that thought. She has no real idea how hard it can be to attempt long-distance caregiving, even if you still have other relatives local to her in OH (which would be the only condition that would maybe convince me to try it). I'm in that situation with my 2 senior aunts in FL but I have very trustworthy cousin/husband helping them part time and agency helpers the other time. For 1 companion they share for 20 hrs per/week it costs them each $220 p/wk. Hope this info helps. Cash is a good idea.
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Reply to Geaton777
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Ginnysdaughter Jun 22, 2020
No, I do not have anyone else to help. I am in Ohio now till Oct. 17th. I talk about her coming with us everyday, trying to plant the seed. She is determined to keep her condo and things and doesn't see the need for help. We have even offered to purchase a small condo in AZ for her, in the same retirement community, so she could be there when we are and come back to her condo (only 1 mile) from me for the summer. She is still keeping her home immaculate, cooking etc., but I see the decline and don't know how gradual or rapid it will be. It is HARD to be a parent to a parent. My husband is having rotater cuff surgery next month, another stresser that has to come first.
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In TN, gifts _to_ a senior are not considered income for Medicaid or SNAP benefits. Gifts _from_ a senior are another story. If your mother is using the cash as pocket money, there should be no problem for a while. Problems with spending and keeping up with money are fairly common in dementia patients so I wouldn't count on the cash method working out long term.

Please check with a SW at your local Area Agency on Aging to see how the guidelines work in OH.
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