Q: Hiding assets to acquire Medicaid for a nursing home. My mother put my father in a nursing home after I took care of him for 3 years and blocked me from being his POA. Also, they took all his assets and put them in my sister’s name to hide everything from Medicaid to pay for the nursing home. She is also taking his social security benefits and keeping that money. What can I do to help my father? He do want me to be guardian. Can anyone help me and are they committing fraud? Thank you
A: Medicaid regulations involve a five year look back for transfers of assets without consideration. When she filled out the Medicaid eligibility application, if your mother failed to report transfers of your father’s assets that took place within the five year period before Medicaid coverage was to start, this could be Medicaid fraud. It’s unlikely that your mother is taking his SS benefits, since they likely will be paid over to the Nursing Home. This is a big mess. You should look for an attorney versed in Medicaid law to straighten this situation out. If it is as bad as you say, perhaps you will be favored by the court over your mother if you file a guardianship petition. Most attorneys will work with you on the fee as they will be paid out of your father’s assets under court approval.