about this 5 year look-back

moonie_57September 6, 2011

Although my mom still lives home alone, drives to McDonalds and the grocery store everyday, she still needs a lot of help from the family.

Although she doesn't have much in checking and savings, she does have a CD and savings bonds worth about $40,000. Can we cash those bonds in and use for her care for things like hiring a housekeeper, doing home and car repairs and paying bills? Her monthly income is right at $2,000 but isn't enough money to keep up with large gas bill and past due property taxes.

What could we use/not use her money for? I'm guessing that she will need to be placed in a home before the 5 year period is up.

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agnespuffin

The five year look-back program is to keep someone from giving the money to family. The object is to keep from having the tax payers pay for the care while the family gets to keep the funds.

You should cash that CD/bonds in and start using it for her well-being and expenses. Keep records of what it was used for. If she has to go into a home before it's all used up, the balance would be paid for her care. When it's all used up, she will be able to apply for assistanc

    Bookmark   September 6, 2011 at 3:36PM
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moonie_57

thank you agnespuffin.

I was recently told that medicaid expects you to plan in advance and that any money that was spent during that 5 year look-back would disqualify you for medicaid for a certain amount of months. It didn't sound right to me but thought I should check into it.

Through the years I have been worried about my mom spending her money. When checking into local nursing homes I found that she did not qualify for some of them because of her income and thought she would fall in to some crack and not be able to get the help she might need. I was thinking she would need that money to get her through the first 2 1/2 years until medicaid kicked in. That 2 1/2 years was a scenario from a situation a friend was in not too long ago.

It's way past the time that our family should have been doing more thorough thinking about mom's future. I've done some reading on this forum but some of the questions I have have not been specifically addressed. We have some problems that we are unsure how to handle. The biggest one being getting my mom to go to the Dr. As of now, she absolutely refuses.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2011 at 5:39PM
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agnespuffin

Check with the Medicaid office in your State. The regulations can vary. You will be able to plan better.
Use the money for the usual bills, Not for trips, new TV, etc.

Regardless, if she has to go into a home, she will not be tossed out into the street if she cannot pay. Here again, whether the children will be dunned for payment, depends on the State.

There will probally be a space on her application to a home that says somelike..."Who is responsible for the bill?" The answer should only be "Patient." Don't put your own name in that blank.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2011 at 6:15PM
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vala55

Moonie, of course you can spend your Mom's money for her care. It is her money and should be spent on her care. I was told by a SRS rep when my husband went in anything that benefits you or your husband is acceptable. What they watch for is a huge amount of money disappearing with no explanation.

You have to qualify before going into a care home health wise, not finances. She can't have to much money to go into a care home. She will simply pay the bills herself until it is gone. Be sure to put her in a care home that accepts Medicaid so when she runs out of money, she won't have to move to a new facility and lose the friends she has made there.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 6:58PM
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marylmi

Start using the money now for any bills or something she needs for her house, etc. If her tv goes out, by all means buy her a new one. That is her money and to be used for her living expenses if needed. I don't know what state you live in, but in Michigan, you can go in any nursing home available, if you have the money to pay for it yourself. Not all of them accept Medicaid.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 9:20PM
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agnespuffin

The thing that waves a red flag to the State, is large sums of money given to individuals. This used to be done regularly. The family would get oops and gobs of money while the patient would then be poor enough to qualify for assistance at the tax payers expense.

Then "they" got smart. If the patient is from a level of society where one would expect him/her to have savings or investments of some sort, they start looking back to find out about any large transfers, etc.

I think my state looks back seven years.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 10:52PM
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marylmi

Also the house, she would have to transfer ownership beyond the 'look-back' period. I think Michigan is seven years also, but not sure about that. Kind of a bad thing, as who knows seven years ahead what will happen! She is not applying for, or on, Medicaid yet, so even if she wants to take a trip she should do so if she is able to healthwise.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 11:38AM
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londondi

You might look to prepay her funeral with her money. My brother and I just did that for my Mom. Mom is in a nursing home and is paying for it out of her funds, but if she lives 3 more years, she will have to go on Medicaid.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 4:24PM
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vala55

I was allowed to prepay my funeral.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2011 at 5:16PM
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