I am sorry to hear of your mother's declining health.
Unfortunately, the government will scrutinize gifts made in the past 5 years, and determine eligibility based on that. Essentially, if a potential recipient gifts, or transfers for less than fair market value, any property, then their eligibility is delayed.
The law is quite punitive, as often times gifts are made when the party does not expect to have the need for services. The state will determine a penalty period where the person is not eligible; basically they will take the value of the gift, dividing it by a number that represents the average cost (usually between $6-7000 per month) of private-pay care in a nursing home.
If the gift is 100% returned, then the person's eligiblity is reinstated.
Sometimes, if there is an extreme medical or psychological emergency, the state will waive the penalty under the undue hardship exemption. It is best to hire an attorney to assist with the application under such circumstances.
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Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.