Search Articles

Find Attorneys

Can My Mother Spend Down Her Money at the Casino and Other Social Activities and Still Qualify for Medicaid?

  • October 1st, 2019
Q
My mom lives in an assisted living facility and is about eight months away from needing Medicaid. I understand she can spend down her money on personal items like furniture and clothing, but what about personal entertainment and social activities like the beauty salon, theater, and casino day trips? She was taking $500 to the casino, but I told her to cut back to $300. Is this allowed? If not, what social activities are acceptable?
A

Spending on social activities is fine, and in theory there is no limit on the cost. However, the issue is proving how the money was spent. If your mother spends the money as cash, how does the Medicaid agency know whether it was lost at the casino or given to someone else? The latter would be an uncompensated transfer and result in a Medicaid penalty period. If it is possible for her to get receipts from the casino or to pay with a credit card, she would have proof if the agency questions where the money went. In addition, as you suggest, the smaller the amount spent, the less likely the agency will be to question the transaction, though this is less a legal difference and more of a strategic one.

For more information on spending down money to qualify for Medicaid, click here.

Local Elder Law Attorneys in Your City

Elder Law Attorney

Firm Name
City, State

Elder Law Attorney

Firm Name
City, State

Elder Law Attorney

Firm Name
City, State

 


Last Modified: 10/01/2019

Medicaid Rules, etc

View All Elder Law Topics Questions & Answers State Medicaid Information