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My mother will soon need a nursing home. She has lived with me 20 years never owned anything but has saved 30,000 in her bank account. I have never charged her rent. She has medicare but now I need to apply for medicad which she will qualify but I am wondering if medicad will take that money if she needs a nursing home?

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It is only fair that if the taxpayers have to foot Mom's bill, then her assets are used first for her care, before we the people have to step in. This morally SHOULD come before an inheritance.
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You use the $30,000 to pay for her nursing home and THEN file for Medicaid when she runs out.
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I hear you about wanting it for the unpaid rent. But it had to happen at least 5 years ago. Listen to the others and what they have said. For the other people here,
5 years is the magic number. What you did 5 years and one month ago isn't medicaid's concern.
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gatito22, as long as it is for your mother, she is pretty free to spend it on anything. Once she is on Medicaid in a nursing home, she will have only a small allowance each month -- somewhere between $35 and $95 or so, depending on the state. This is generally enough to have her hair done, and to replace her winter gloves, and go on outings the NH may have from time to time. It is not enough to buy anything significant. Some ideas:

Definitely money set aside for burial, etc.
Wardrobe update if needed, especially items that will need to last a long time.
Hearing aids, glasses, deluxe wheelchair, etc. These things may be covered by Medicaid, but if Mom wants something above the basic model now is the time to consider getting it.
A nice recliner. Check on room sizes where she is likely to be going first, though.
Subscriptions to magazines, crossword books, whatever she might enjoy getting in the mail regularly. Note, though, that the nursing home will have plenty of these things for communal use.
She can blow some on nice dinners out or fun at the casino.

At the search box at the top right of this page, type in SPEND DOWN and you'll find lots of posts and articles about this topic.
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I'm glad that you are still on the thread for sometimes people leave and leave far too early. We can help you with this question.

I searched the site for an answer which you can see @

https://www.agingcare.com/search.aspx?searchterm=how+to+spend+down+for+medicaid+

With having Alzheimer's, your mom will likely need to go into a nursing home soon. So, it would be a good idea to start looking for one that will take medicaid.

I wish you the best in your journey.
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Yes I am an only child. I have a cleaning business And my mother who is 90 has lived with me 20 years. And been in excellent health. She helped raise my daughter. She has always been poor and her SS is only 730 a month. She could only afford medicare because she lived with me rent free. I am a bit shocked to find this out now... How do I find out what items we can spend down on.?
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gatito 22: all good answers here. To echo some advise: she has to "spend down" this money.
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Hi and to add to this, if you try to hide it and they catch it, even if you have spent it, they will get it from you one way or the other. They will come after you legally. It is a mess, for sure. The five year look back is tough. It can go into a familial trust but it needs to be in there for five years before she starts needed medicaid. We prepaid moms funeral, got her the best hearing aids money could buy and any other things that made her life better because we knew that medicare/medicaid would get the cheapest or a much lesser one. Getting her to buy into it, though, was tough. The eldercare attorney was a God send. It is a shame she does not have property that she could pay someone to fix up, but then again, when sold, they can come for what they pay for her care out of those proceeds. One thing this has taught me is that I do not care if I die with a house payment and debt. My parents paying everything off and living so frugal was a mistake. It meant nothing because they, coming through the depression, would not sign things over, etc. Now it is a waiting game.
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What Jeanne wrote is what I was going to say, particularly the part about the pre-paid funeral service. That will help out immensely and is allowed under Medicaid. I know it is sad to watch our parents' resources vanishing. End of life care is so expensive that estates are becoming a thing of the past now. I hope that you are able to find just the right place for your mother.
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This advice is too late for you, but perhaps others interested in the topic will benefit from your story.

Relatives who move into your home should pay you. Rent, room and board, caregiving services -- whatever is applicable. There should be a written contract spelling out what each side is providing/paying.

Many elders cannot afford to pay the going market rate. It is perfectly acceptable to charge them far less and to keep it within a range they can afford. But if you charge them nothing, then what you are providing is considered a gift. You will have no basis for charging retroactively when it is time to apply for Medicaid, or to charge the estate. Charge as-you-go, or forget it.

There is very seldom money left for an inheritance. You definitely can't count on it. In this case, your mother will need to spend all her money on her own care before she will be eligible for public help.

Instead of or in addition to paying you rent, your mom could have been using her money for fun extras instead of saving it. She could have taken you on a nice vacation each year. Or she could have gone herself on a singles cruise! :)

She saved her money, and many would consider that wise. She now has enough to buy herself a new wardrobe, including extra shoes, pay ahead on magazine subscriptions, buy a deluxe wheelchair if she needs that, pay in advance for a funeral, etc. and then use the rest to pay for her own nursing home care. There won't be enough to last even a year in a nursing home, so she doesn't get the benefit of selecting a place that only accepts Medicaid after a year or more of private-pay.

So what has anyone really gained by Mom not paying you rent all these years? Maybe the satisfaction of paying her own way in a nursing home for a very few months before Medicaid is needed.

I'm not sure there is anything you can do to protect that savings now, but your best bet is to spend a little of it consulting an attorney who specializes in Elder Law.
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How long do you think it will be before your mother is ready to go into a nursing home? What has her doctor said caused these hallucinations? Are you her medical and durable POA?

You really should have written up a contract at the beginning signed by both of you that she would pay you so much a month. I gather she saved up some of the $30,000 from her social security checks over 20 years. Since the average social security check is around $1,200 now, but was not 20 years ago, she must have had some money when she moved in with you.

No, you can't just take the money for yourself.

You can't just take her $30,000 out of her account because it is her's. If you have durable POA over her and thus access to her account, taking it out for yourself would be against the law. If you are her POA, then any of her money that you spend must be documented that it was spent for your mother's care because a POA cannot spend the money on themselves. If you do somehow take the $30,000 out of her account and apply for medicaid, they will look at her bank statements for the last five years, consider that money a gift and expect it to be paid back before she would qualify for medicaid. Even if the money is in a joint account with her being the primary owner, it would be considered her money that was given away. If you take out the $30,000 say tomorrow, then your mother wold be liable for gifting tax to the federal government for the amount beyond what a person is legally allowed to give someone else. If you did this and failed to report it on her tax return and medicaid discovered this gift in looking back over her bank account for five years, they would consider it a gift and your mother would probably end up owing back taxes plus penalty for not reporting it on that gift.

It sounds to me like you want to protect a possible inheritance from medicaid for yourself. Are you an only child or do you have siblings? Does your mother have a will and what does it say about her money?

BTW, what kind of business do you own?
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I guess what I really want to know is how can I keep the Medicaid from taking the money. She has never paid rent over the last 20 years and I was expecting to just keep the money. She has not been diagnosed with anything yet. This is all new to us. But we had 2 bad episodes of hallucinations 6 weeks apart. and are planning right now.
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You have done well to take care of your mom since you were thirty five and she was 70 and at the same time run a business and have a family!

Have you found a nursing home that will take medicaid after her 30,000 runs out? Normally, the social worker at a nursing home will help you in applying for your mom's medicaid. Your mom may well need a nursing home that takes medicaid which also has a memory care unit for people with Alzheimer's. How bad is her Alzheimer's right now?

She will need to spend down that $30,000 to $2,000 which will not take long in a nursing home. See the article below from this site about asset limits in applying for medicaid.

https://www.agingcare.com/articles/asset-limits-to-qualify-for-medicaid-141681.htm

To look up more information from this site about medicaid, type medicaid in the search site box in the upper right hand corner of this page and press enter on your keyboard.
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