Finance Questions? Ask a Financial Expert for Answers ASAP
Hi from Just Answer. You did not make a bad decision. You made the decision that worked for you, and will work out, as I see it.
Accepting the funds in your name allows you the autonomy to spend as you see fit, then reapply for benefits when your funds run out. You will be approved, especially if you don't show up to apply in a new car and talking about how Vegas sure is hot this time of year. While there are no guarantees, the settlement funds, once exhausted, do not disqualify you for benefits. While you have some resources, you may want to plan for your future, such as what facility you may want to live in when it's time.
Many facilities ask for an enrollment fee up front, then agree to accept Medicaid/Social Security for the monthly 'rent' going forward. Without that down payment, you may be placed on a waiting list for a facility willing to accept you for those benefits only. These are normally less desirable facilities.
To review your decision, it wasn't a bad one. Pay for whatever insurance or care you need, and make sure you reserve out the funds needed for future enrollment in a facility. If you give gifts in advance of claiming Medicaid, keep in mind there is a five year look back period that Medicaid will use to insure you did not give everything away to qualify for benefits, so gifts for the grandbabies or other transfers must be done with a plan not to need nursing home care for at least five years.
The elder care attorney I used to work with for nursing home and medicare/medicaid issues has retired, but he used to tell me that $20,000 was a good number in cash to insure enrollment in a facility of your choosing. I suspect that number is XXXXX now. When you call places, ask them how much $ is will take to guarantee a life spot there. Don't tell them how much you have, or that will be the number you need.
To close, you did not make a bad decision. I think you made a very good one that worked for you. You could have set up your own trust, called a special needs trust, that would have done very much the same thing, but you would have had more control. Legal and trustee fees might have eaten away some of the $, but your plan will work out just fine.
Thanks for asking your question at Just Answer. I am not an elder care attorney, but I am a CPA with experience in this area. Thanks for allowing me to assist, and good luck as you proceed. I'm PDtax.