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How Will a Gift to Charity Affect My Medicaid Application?

  • June 22nd, 2015
Is a charitable gift to a community foundation subject to Medicaid look-back? I would like to give some money to a local foundation so they can set up a fund to distribute grants to certain area charities. If I have to apply for Medicaid to pay for a nursing home within five years of donating the money, will the gift affect my application? 

Gifts to charity can affect your Medicaid application. Medicaid looks at all transfers made in the five years before you apply. If you transferred assets for less than fair market value, Medicaid can impose a penalty period—a time when you are ineligible for Medicaid benefits. There is no exception for charitable giving, but if you can show a pattern of charitable giving, you may be able to prove that the transfer to the charity was made for a reason other than to qualify for Medicaid. But states differ in the way they treat transfers. Before transferring any money, we strongly suggest you consult with an elder law attorney in your state to find out how your state Medicaid agency usually treats charitable giving. Here is a directory of attorneys: http://www.elderlawanswers.com/elder-law-attorneys

For more information on Medicaid’s asset transfer rules, click here

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Last Modified: 06/22/2015

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