“I moved in with my parents 10 years ago. Can their house be put into my name now that they’re going into a nursing home?”
If you have moved into your parent’s home in order to provide care to them and a parent then goes into a nursing home, this can be a very scary situation. You may have given up your home, you may have moved from your own personal residence, in with your parents. There also are people that have always lived with their parents and this is the only home that they know. When a parent is now in a nursing home and possibly applying for Medicaid benefits, you might be very concerned than about losing the house as part of the Medicaid application process.
Under the Medicaid rules, in general, a person applying for nursing facility benefits shouldn’t have given any assets away within the prior five years. Therefore, the thought of giving this house to you seems problematic because we’re talking about immediately giving a house away right before applying for Medicaid rather than having done this five years ago.
There are a number of exceptions to the disqualification rules relating to giving assets away. One of them relates to a child who has been a caregiver in the parent’s home. The standard is that the child truly must have moved into the home and been living there. So you’re going to have to prove that you were living there. You have to have done so for at least two years.
Does your driver’s license show that two years ago, this was your address? Has mail been coming to you at that address for that period of time? How are you going to prove, for instance, that you’ve lived there for two years? You may have to prove that you’re their child, and that requires a birth certificate. The biggest issue is you have to prove that you provided care to the level that kept that person, your parent, at home for a period of at least two years.
In general, the Department of Health and Human Services that administers the Medicaid program will want to have some type of medical proof that the individual you are caring for would have needed nursing home level of care earlier. That you, by providing the care to this parent, postponed an admission into a nursing home. That the care you were providing was almost the equivalent of assisted living. It doesn’t apply to a stepchild. It doesn’t apply to a grandchild. So that’s the level of proof that you will need as part of a Medicaid application to justify a house being transferred to you.