Gifts That Disqualify You from Medicaid
Are you worried about being disqualified from Medicaid because of gift giving? There are certain gifts that disqualify you from Medicaid. These are only assets that were transferred for purposes of qualifying for Medicaid. If you have been in good health – and that’s why I recommend frequent medical checkups among other things – then you may be able to challenge that and say, “No, I was not making these gifts in anticipation of going into a nursing home.” Also, in Erie County, if the withdrawals are made from your account of under $2,000, they may not ask you for documentation. Many of the rules vary from county to county – that’s what I must caution you on – and from state to state. Each state has its own rules in interpreting the Medicaid laws and qualifications. For instance, in Genesee County, they will ask you for any withdrawals of $1,000 or more.
Gifts That Disqualify You from Medicaid | Federal Gift Tax
Many people say, “Well, I can give away $14,000 a year.” That has nothing to do with Medicaid. That has to do with the U.S. Estate and Gift Tax. New York State used to have a gift tax and New York actually eliminated one of their taxes. There is no longer a New York Gift Tax. There is still a Federal Gift Tax. Most of my clients don’t have to worry about Estate and Gift Taxes because exemptions now are about $5.3 million so I usually don’t have too many people who are concerned about that. For people who have large estates, they can give away $14,000 – if they want to reduce their taxable estate – they can give away $14,000 per year to as many people as they want and that is in addition to their lifetime exemption of $5.3 million and you don’t have to file a Gift Tax Return. That doesn’t have anything to do with Medicaid.
Gifts That Disqualify You from Medicaid | History of Gift Giving
Also, look at past patterns. If you have been normally giving gifts to your grandchildren on their birthdays or for graduations or giving money to your church or if there’s been a past pattern of gifting, then you can challenge the fact that you were not transferring your assets to qualify for Medicaid. That’s a general rule about gifting.
If you are worried about having had given gifts that disqualify you from Medicaid, please call our office right away to speak to our experienced Buffalo elder law attorneys.