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How can we get medicaid to pay for a nursing home for mom when she sold property and the money is gone?

Howell, MI |

Moms name was on some property that my brother Dan owned in Michigan. It was sold in 2010 for $12,500 and after commissions were taken out she gave the remaining proceeds of $11,300 or so to my brother that owned it. He took the money and probably spent some of it before he died in November of 2011. My other brother Jeff took whatever money that was remaining that he found in the basement and did with it as he pleased. Are we liable to pay that money back if he won't? We are really stuck here and we never recieved a dime of the money. I don't want to cause trouble in the family but mom needs to go into a Medicaid paid nursing home because we cannot take care of her anymore and cannot afford to pay for it ourselves.

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Attorney answers 4


You need a medicaid attorney to sort this out for you.
Medicaid benefits are available very quickly with only a
month or two delay at the most.
You can find a medicaid attorney on AVVO on the "Find an Attorney"
If you are close to Lavonia-call attorney James Frederick

The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of action is to have legal representation in this matter.


Without there being something else that makes the transfer exempt, the gift to Dan will result in a penalty period during which your mother will be ineligible for Medicaid if she makes application anytime during the five years that follow the gift. There are exceptions as well as planning techniques that may apply to reduce of eliminate the penalty, such as a hardship waiver, but the only way of finding out will be to consult in private with a seasoned elder law attorney who does Medicaid planning.

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You need to discuss this with an attorney that specializes in Medicaid.


This is a tough question. The transfer will prevent your mother from receiving Medicaid for several months, but more importantly, no nursing home will admit her if she has no private funds to pay and is ineligible for Medicaid. In other words, Medicaid will not force your family to repay the funds, the agency just says your mother will not be able to receive benefits until the penalty period for the funds family took expires.

Medicaid has hardship regulations for people who unwittingly made transfers or were the victims of financial abuse, but your mother (i.e., you) will have to jump through many hoops for Medicaid to accept that your mother did not intend to make a disqualifying transfer. You must ask your brothers to return the funds -- some states require your mother actually file suit to get them to return the money. I cannot stress enough that you need to hire a knowledgeable elder law attorney to help you through this.

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