How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask RayAnswers Your Own Question
RayAnswers, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 41037
Experience:  Texas lawyer for 30 years in Estate law
Type Your Estate Law Question Here...
RayAnswers is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My mother and father have joint bank accounts. Would my

Customer Question

my mother and father have joint bank accounts. Would my mother still be eligible to apply for Medicaid if my father transfers money from the joint account into his own account?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  RayAnswers replied 1 year ago.

Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you.

No there is a five year look back period for such gifting and there would be a period of penalty for such transfers. My suggestion if you have time is to make small irregular cash withdrawals for "groceries ".They will review last 5 years for large transfers, here small withdrawals for cash will not be noticed.Rent safety box and deposit cash.Go off the grid here.

I appreciate the chance to help you today.Thanks again.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello, You are my second opinion lawyer. The first lawyer said yes they do five years look back by since accounts are in both of their names, if he transfers monies into his own account, although it is a red flag is still legal and she would be eligible. This lawyer was the one that suggested the transfer. Also if my father did do this, and Medicaid declined my mother, would she be able to apply again later in the future.
Expert:  RayAnswers replied 1 year ago.

Give me your state here so I can give you reference

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
New York
Expert:  RayAnswers replied 1 year ago.

Medicaid will want 5 years of records --bank accounts, checking, etc upon application.They will be looking and require explanation for any large transfers especially to the wife.

There are different eligibility rules for married couples..give me a second.

Expert:  RayAnswers replied 1 year ago.


f you are disabled, blind, or 65 or older, you can qualify for Medicaid if your monthly income in 2014 is $809 or less for a household of one or $192 for a couple. That is equivalent to 87% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).

New York’s Excess Income Program does allow individuals to qualify for Medicaid by spending down their income on qualifying medical expenses until they reach Medicaid income limits. For example, if your income is $100/month, but you spend $300/month on medical expenses, then you qualify for Medicaid because you are spending down $300 to bring you under the $809 income cap.

New York also has a program in which you can pay your extra income to the Department of Social Services in order to maintain Medicaid eligibility. In addition, New York allows individuals of any age to establish pooled income trusts to set aside excess income and still qualify for Medicaid.

If you are considering a nursing home stay, remember that New York Medicaid requires nursing home residents to contribute almost all of their monthly income to the cost of their nursing home care. The state allows Medicaid recipients in nursing homes to keep only $50 per month for themselves.

To qualify for non-MAGI Medicaid, the kind of Medicaid that will cover long-term care services, you must have few resources. Resources are assets, like money in the bank, retirement accounts, land, and personal property like cars. The resource limit for a single person to qualify for non-MAGI Medicaid is $14,550, and it is $21,450 for a married couple who both want to qualify.

Some property does not count toward the resource limit. For example, you are allowed to have up to $814,000 of equity in your home, and you are also allowed to exempt one vehicle.

And you have to be careful what question you ask here--asking if it legal to transfer funds between accounts sure it is legal to do so, but then the questions is will it disqualify them and the answer is yes.And in that case they can legally penalize the person for such a transfer.

Expert:  RayAnswers replied 1 year ago.

Here are the current income , resource limits and penalties..

If they have significant assets here lets say $50k or more a NAELA lawyer to estate plan is critical.

These guys National Academy of Elder Lawyers are specially trained to avoid the medicaid land mines here.

Expert:  RayAnswers replied 1 year ago.

If you skip down here to transfer of assets it walks you through penalties for transfers..

There are some items that are exempt, often a new car is a great exemption.They can spend down for it relatives can use it for visiting and for dr visits and outings if those are possible , also they can have equity in the home.All of this is exempt.There are also medicaid qualifying annuities, these are short term say 6 months funds are laundered legally through these and come out as exempt resources.The risk here is that under terms of annuity if the person dies in the 6 months the remaining payments go to the state under estate recovery.

These are the kinds of things other than stashing cash that are options to deal with spend down and transfer.The NAELA lawyer can guide you to these kinds of things.

Thanks again appreciate the chance to help you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you
Expert:  RayAnswers replied 1 year ago.

You are so welcome.If you can positive rate it is always much appreciated.

Related Estate Law Questions