Mother in nursing home - financial question

Asked almost 3 years ago - Gloucester City, NJ

My mother has been in a nursing home for about a year. I am joint owner of bank accounts. I quit my job to handle her affairs and look after her so I have had to use some of the money for my own living expenses.
Am I allowed to keep some of the money in these accounts or does it all have to go to the nursing home and then apply for medicaid?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Carl G. Archer

    Pro

    Contributor Level 12

    Answered . I am an elder law attorney who handles Medicaid applications in New Jersey. You need an attorney to go over these issues in detail with you, and analyze the bank accounts to see if any of the funds expended from the account can be traced. There is a presumption that any assets you spent will go toward a penalty period where your mom won't be eligible for Medicaid.

    It is very important that you talk to an attorney (if not me, someone else) to preserve your rights.

    This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. In order for you to establish such a relationship,... more
  2. David E. Danda

    Contributor Level 5

    Answered . Thank you for being a caregiver to your mother. Care giving is a huge responsibility that requires significant mental, emotional and physical effort.

    From the tone of your question, it appears that the money in the joint accounts is your mother's money.

    Hire an Elder Law lawyer in Gloucester City to help you. In order to receive money that is not considered by Medicaid as a "gift" it will be to your advantage to have a Caregiver Contract that complies with NJ Medicaid provisions, so that your are compensated for your being your mother's caregiver.

    I assume that your mother has been paying the nursing home charges with her own money. Nursing homes like private pay patients because your mother is paying the full price and not the network negotiated price Medicaid will pay. It sounds like the nursing home is encouraging your mother to "spend down" (a Medicaid term) her cash resources in order to qualify for Medicaid. It is a little late to be making Medicaid planning decisions. Nevertheless, I recommend that you contact a qualified Elder Lawyer in your area.

    Please remember that this is a general response to a general question and that you have simply made an inquiry.... more
  3. Katherine B Schnauss Naugle

    Pro

    Contributor Level 9

    Answered . I would suggest you go immediately to an elder law attorney the specializes in Medicaid planning. They are best suited to answer your questions and will lead you down the right path. There can be planning that can be done to preserve some of her assets, but you want to do that as soon as possible to not miss out on any possible opportunities.

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