My mother is living in an assisted living facility and receiving Medicaid. If she receives an inheritance, can I pay three months in advance to the assisted living facility without jeopardizing Medicaid benefits?
It may be possible, but it is complicated. The receipt of the inheritance is income that must be reported to the Medicaid authorities. In theory, that would render your mother ineligible for Medicaid benefits during that month. If she spends down the money, whether by paying the assisted living facility or through other legitimate expenses during the same calendar month, the period of ineligibility should not extend beyond the month.
That still leaves a number of questions:
- Is advance payment to the assisted living facility considered legitimate?
- How does your mother pay for her care during the month she receives her inheritance, since she would technically be ineligible for benefits that month?
- What does she do with her income during the months for which the assisted living costs were already paid?
All of that said, those questions may be academic. Generally, this is likely too complicated for the Medicaid authorities; nothing may happen after you inform Medicaid that a beneficiary has received and spent down funds. You should consult with an attorney in your state to determine the best way to handle this situation.