Frequently Asked Questions
Question: If I transferred money to my children now would I have to wait thirty-six months before I could be eligible for Medicaid?
Answer: Not necessarily. The thirty-six month rule that your question refers to concerns the waiting period for Medicaid benefits. The general rule is that a transfer of money will create what is called a waiting period before one is eligible to receive Medicaid benefits. The waiting period is calculated by a formula based on several factors. It is quite possible that the waiting period for any transfer of money or other assets could be anywhere from one month to thirty-six months, depending on the circumstances of your case. Thus, your waiting period is not necessarily always going to be thirty-six months.
Question: If I own my own home, will I be able to keep my home and still qualify for Medicaid?
Answer: The answer to this question is sometimes yes and sometimes no. It depends on a variety of factors. For example, it may depend on whether you have a spouse who is living in that house or if you have an intention to return to that house even if you are presently in a nursing home. It may also depend on whether one of your children has lived in that house with you for a certain period of time or whether your brother or sister is a joint owner of that house with you.
Question: If I receive Medicaid to pay my nursing home bill, will I receive the same standard of care that other people receive who are paying for the nursing home privately from their own money?
Answer: You will receive the same care as someone who is privately paying. It is against the law for the nursing home to discriminate against its patients based on whether that person is on Medicaid or is paying privately.
Question: I have United States Savings Bonds that are held in my name and they are payable on death to my son. If I go into a nursing home, will these be counted as one of my assets?
Answer: They are only payable to your son if you are deceased. Since you are still alive, you are the owner of the bonds and they will be counted as your asset.
Question: If I have a Will that leaves all of my assets to my children, wouldn't that protect me if I ever needed to go into a nursing home?
Answer: A Will only takes effect when you die. While you are living you still own all of your assets and therefore the Medicaid department will count those assets as still being owned by you.
Question: Why would I need a power of attorney if I have already chosen my son to be representative payee with regard to my Social Security check?
Answer: A power of attorney would allow your son to deal with all your property and income. A representative payee can only deal with those particular benefits that are the subject of the representative payee relationship. In this case, your representative payee can only deal with your Social Security check and nothing else. Thus, the power of attorney is still necessary in your case because it would allow your son to deal with all your other property and income.