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Will Transferring His Income to Me Affect My Dad's Medicaid Eligibility?
My father made a revocable trust seven years ago. However, he did not transfer or give his money to me until seven months ago, and I put the money into an annuity. Now my father is facing nursing home placement but he will not be entitled to Medicaid assistance for approximately four and a half years. Is that correct? And the monthly income he has from his pension and Social Security -- should he transfer that to me, his daughter who is his agent under a power of attorney? I am going to take him into my house for now, and hopefully be able to care for him until his death. (We live in Wisconsin.)
Yes, the transfer of assets can cause up to five years of ineligibility for benefits. I say “up to” because the transfer penalty may be smaller depending on how much your father transferred. The annuity may also be a problem if you needed to “cure” the transfer by returning all or some of the funds to your father because most annuities have early-termination penalties.
Your father should not “transfer” his income to you because that would extend the penalty period even longer. However, he can pay his share of his expenses and may be able to pay you for caring for him. I strongly recommend that you consult with a local elder law attorney to make sure that this is structured in a way that does not put you in a worse position.
For more about Medicaid's asset transfer rules, click here.
For more on how parents can compensate a caregiver child, click here.
For more on "curing" prior transfers, click here.