question regarding medicaid and helping a sibling

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staustin
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question regarding medicaid and helping a sibling

Post by staustin » Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:32 pm

My father passed away a few weeks ago. We are in the process of probating his small estate. It's minimal with a small ira, a pension, a small house and a vehicle. My mother has been placed in a nursing home. We will be spending down their estate paying for her care until such time as she qualifies for medicaid. That said, my sister is of very little means. Nothing to do with her effort, ability, etc. She has a handicap and has not been able to work much. She cares for my mother using the family vehicle, bringing her supplies, etc. So, then, here's the question: is it possible to owner finance the vehicle for her such that she can drive it and still quality for medicaid? I know that an outright transfer to her from the estate would either result in a penalty or being declared ineligible. At the same time it would be nice to find a way to get my sister the vehicle in some fair fashion and still qualify. She might be able to make monthly payments to my mothers estate. Would this be treated as income under eligibility rules or would the transfer be something best just to avoid. Thanks in advance for any thoughts.

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Mrs.Feeley
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Re: question regarding medicaid and helping a sibling

Post by Mrs.Feeley » Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:33 pm

Don't Medicaid eligibility rules for the disabled vary from state to state? You might look to see if there is local to you a Center for Independent Living (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independent_living, scroll down to "Centers for Independent Living" for more info). These organizations will often provide advise on just this sort of thing and the advise will be tailored to the local situation.

Don't confuse Centers for Independent Living with all the businesses and for-profits that use "Independent Living" in their name, such as the chain of residences for the elderly or the mail-order company. Centers for Independent Living are grassroots non-profit groups that provide the disabled with a wide variety of free advise on everything from local housing, to transportation, work and Social Security. If there's an organization like this in your state it can prove a great resource.

donall
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Re: question regarding medicaid and helping a sibling

Post by donall » Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:37 pm

http://www.oneskyservices.org/files/lib ... itchen.pdf

This paper indicates that owning a car does not disqualify one for medicaid. As a practical matter, when transferring a car title, a value for the car is typically the sale price or a nominal amount as a gift.

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Mrs.Feeley
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Re: question regarding medicaid and helping a sibling

Post by Mrs.Feeley » Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:51 pm

donall wrote:http://www.oneskyservices.org/files/library/sp_needs_trust_kitchen.pdf

This paper indicates that owning a car does not disqualify one for medicaid. As a practical matter, when transferring a car title, a value for the car is typically the sale price or a nominal amount as a gift.


Thanks for the link, Donall. That's valuable information. Years ago, in fact many, many years ago, we had a disabled family member on SSI and Medicaid and were told that in order to qualify for the state's Medicaid program any car had to be worth no more than a few thousand dollars, and some sort of appraisal or Blue Book proof had to be provided. That was 30 years ago and certainly the rules have changed. But I've heard that some states can have very different rules and tougher qualification guidelines, although I could be wrong. With these sorts of things, and so much at stake, it's always wise to triple-check.

xerty24
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Re: question regarding medicaid and helping a sibling

Post by xerty24 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 10:45 pm

Sorry about your father.

Could you own the vehicle and let your sister use it all the time, perhaps as an additional driver on your insurance? It's certainly not in her name then.
No excuses, no regrets.

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PaddyMac
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Re: question regarding medicaid and helping a sibling

Post by PaddyMac » Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:56 pm

Sorry for your loss. I have a friend whose mother recently went into a home and was looking to get into the medicaid program. My friend was told that since she is legally blind, she could inherit the mother's house and it could stay out of medicaid, something to do with disabled children being treated preferentially I think. I don't have any other details, because as it happened the mother died shortly afterward and the house was not worth anything so they let the bank have it. But you might check with a medicaid expert who might know more. Perhaps your sister could get what little your parents have now, and then your mother would qualify faster.

staustin
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Re: question regarding medicaid and helping a sibling

Post by staustin » Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:27 pm

all, many thanks for comments. most helpful.

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dm200
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Re: question regarding medicaid and helping a sibling

Post by dm200 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 2:02 pm

The rules on medicaid eligibility are indeed state specific. Since you are dealing with two "needy" folks here (mother and sister), and, presumably, your sister may have many, many years ahead of her, I would seek advice/counsel from an elder care attorney who deals with these issues all the time IN YOUR STATE! It would be a shame if one, small error disqualified either of them for a period of time.

One angle (do NOT know the answer) is whether (and if so how much) from the estate could be paid (directly or indirectly) to your sister for the care she provides your mother.

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