Can I use a Medicaid beneficiary’s inheritance to pay for assisted living three months in advance?

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It may be possible, but it’s complicated. Receiving inheritance is income that must be reported to Medicaid authorities. In theory, this would make your mother ineligible for Medicaid benefits during that month. If she spends the money, whether on assisted living or other legitimate expenses within the same calendar month, the period of ineligibility should not extend beyond the month.

This still leaves a number of questions:

  1. Is advance payment at assisted living facilities considered legitimate?
  2. How does your mother pay for her care in the month she receives her inheritance, since she would technically be ineligible for benefits that month?
  3. What does she do with her income during the months for which the assisted living fee has already been paid?

That said, these questions can be academic. Generally, this is probably too complicated for Medicaid authorities; nothing can happen once you notify Medicaid that a beneficiary has received and spent funds. You should consult with an attorney in your state to determine the best way to handle this situation. To find a lawyer near you, click here.

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