How many years does Medicaid go back for recovery of benefits paid?

Q: Elderly mother has been in nursing home for 2 years. She has used ALL her life savings to pay for it and is now out of money. She receives Medicare but not Medicaid, yet. She owns a very small home that was her marital home (husband is now deceased). She did own family farm that included old family home and acreage but transferred that to her children in 2016. If she applies for Medicaid, can they seize the family farm property to recover benefits paid for nursing home? (Delmont, PA)

A: The Department of Human Services of PA examines all transfers of property done for no consideration or for less than market value by an applicant in the 5-year period preceding the application. If the transfer of the farm to family was a gift, this could subject her to a penalty and consequently delay her ability to receive Medicaid. This are of law is very complicated. You should seek an opinion from an attorney who is versed in Medicaid regulations. He or she will need to know more facts than you have given us here to properly assess your situation.

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