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Medicaid and value of home
06-11-2014, 11:18 AM,
Medicaid and value of home
I have been caring for my Mother for 5 years. We purchased a home together over 35 years ago (and live together). The house is titled in both our names with right of survivorship. Her monthly income is approximately $3,700 ($1,100+ is Aid & Attendance). She pays me monthly for her care and I report this as income on my Income Tax return, paying taxes on it. Unfortunately, her care is taking a toll on me, and I feel she needs more care, so regrettably I am thinking I will need to put her in an assisted living home and qualify her for Medicaid. She has no assets except our home. Will she be able to deed her 1/2 of the home over to me without Medicaid considering it 1/2 an asset for her and them taking it? From what I can understand since I have been providing care (and living with her) these 4/5 years they will not look at taking 1/2 of it. We live in Georgia. Thank you.
07-03-2014, 01:54 AM,
RE: Medicaid and value of home
Under the Caregiver Child exception of federal law, a parent who has entered a nursing home is permitted to deed their house to a Caregiver Child without it being deemed a penalty-causing transfer (gift). In order to qualify for this exception, the child must have lived in the same house as the parent for at least the two-years immediately preceding the parent entering the nursing home, and the child must have provided such care for the parent that the parent was able to delay needing nursing home-level care thanks to such care.

If she is moving to assisted living--as opposed to a nursing home--this exception probably will no longer apply once she moves there. Thus, if she deeds her half to you, it may fall under the five-year lookback provision that counts all gifts within the 5-year period before applying for Medicaid as penalty-causing gifts.

However, if your house is titled as a joint tenancy with right of survivorship, you may possibly be better off not doing anything: her interest in the house is exempt under the personal residence exemption so it will not disqualify her from receiving Medicaid, and upon her death the entire house becomes yours automatically--and many states cannot then file a claim against the house for recoupment of Medicaid bills. You need to find out your state law in this regard before you decide about this; I suggest checking with a Medicaid expert attorney in your area.

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