Medicaid Transfers to Disabled Children

Dear Mr. Premack: I looked through your column archives and did not find an article that addressed my question. Can a nursing resident who receives Medicaid gift or transfer her home to one of her children (61 years old and receives SSDI) without impacting either of their benefit situations? Thank you. — BLW

SSDI stands for Social Security Disability Insurance, which is a benefit for disabled adults who qualify under the federal rules. Medicaid is a different program, which in this context is providing nursing home care to an impoverished senior citizen.

Ordinarily a Medicaid beneficiary would be disqualified from receiving continued aid if she transferred title to the home to anyone (including one of the children). The beneficiary is allowed to continue owning the house so that she will have a place to go if her health improves. If she decided not to keep the house for that purpose, then transferring it to anyone else creates a penalty period during which she cannot receive Medicaid benefits.

There are, however, a few explicit exceptions to that rule. One of them is this: if the house is transferred to a child (of any age) determined to be disabled under the Social Security rules, there is no penalty. In this case, your mother could transfer the house to her disabled daughter and still retain her Medicaid benefits. And since SSDI does not use its beneficiary’s resources as a measure of whether or not benefits will continue, becoming owner of the home will not negatively impact her disabled daughter.

Paul Premack is a Certified Elder Law Attorney and a Five Star Wealth Manager (Texas Monthly Magazine 2009-2013) practicing estate planning and probate law in San Antonio.

Original Publication: San Antonio Express News, March 19, 2010

#Disability #Medicaid #gifts #Children #SocialSecurityDisabilityInsurance

Paul Premack served as President of the Texas Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) and is a Member of the Washington Chapter of NAELA. He is Certified as an Elder Law Attorney (CELA) by the National Elder Law Foundation as accredited by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and the ABA. He is licensed to practice law in the States of Texas and Washington and handles Estate Planning and Probate in Texas and Washington, including Bexar County and King County Probate, Wills, Living Trusts, Durable and Medical Powers of Attorney, and Elder Law. Premack has since 1989 written the legal column for the San Antonio Express News which is syndicated in other Hearst Newspapers around the USA.


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