Will weekly checks written to home aide be questioned by nursing home for eligilibty for Medicaid?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 19, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

I have been paying for a home health aide on a part time basis for the last 6 months for my mother. My mother may need to enter a nursing home and I am concerned that when bank statements are supplied, a question my arise about whether taxes were deducted from the aides pay. None were because she had little funds and I knew all would be exhaused in a short time. Will this be a problem for medicaid eligilibty?

Expert Answers

The matter of not paying taxes -- filling out the forms for a household employee, withholding the taxes and paying the taxes to the state and federal government -- is not usually anything that Medicaid would concern itself with. When deciding whether your mother will be eligible for Medicaid coverage of nursing home care, Medicaid will look at her income and assets. They will also look at any transfer of assets over the previous five years. That will probably include reviewing her bank statements. What they will be looking for, however, will be the "hiding" of assets by giving away money or making purchases or transfers for less than fair market value.

Medicaid may want to know what the regular payments to the aide from your mother's bank account were for. As long as the amounts paid were a reasonable amount for the care provided -- in other words, weren't wildly high payments to a family member, for example, to try to protect that money -- that's all Medicaid is likely to be interested in. The fact that you did not withhold taxes from the caregiver's pay is not likely be of any interest to Medicaid, since that might only be a matter of your mother owing money, not of her trying to hide it.