‘Caregiver Child’ — Use it to keep parent’s house, but step carefully

By elderlaw

Care for a parent in their house by their child may be the best opportunity to protect the family home under Ohio Medicaid, but strict requirements must be met.

Caregiver ChildThe Caregiver Child Exemption allows adult children (only biological or adopted) to care for their parent at home (main residence) as opposed to moving them into a Medicaid-funded assisted living residence or nursing home. It enables the adult child to be compensated by receiving the parent’s home which is not counted under the Five-Year Lookback Rule. Otherwise, the family faces selling the home, and using the proceeds to pay for nursing home or assisted-living care.

The caregiver child must live in the home with his or her parent for at least two years prior to the parent’s admittance to a nursing home or assisted-living facility, and they must provide a level of care that prevents the senior from needing to relocate during this time.

Providing care for an elderly parent may include:

  • Monitoring medications
  • Providing meals
  • Providing assistance with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and using the bathroom, and
  • Ensuring the health and safety of the parent.

Documentation of this care provided by the child is required by Medicaid. That will include:

  • Documentation of the parent-child relationship, by birth certificate or adoption decree;
  • A daily log of care;
  • Verification of care from third parties including doctor or home nurse;
  • If the child does not provide full-time care, then proof will be required of third party in-home care or adult day care will be needed;
  • And lastly, proof of residency by the child in the parent’s home will be required. Acceptable proof would include tax returns, bills or a driver’s license listing the subject address.

After two years, if the parent then requires placement, the child caregiver applies for Medicaid, expresses the parent’s intent to return to the residence, and then applies for the caregiver transfer. If approved, the child caregiver receives the residence including all equity, without penalty and without estate recovery issues, in the future.

For more information, contact R. F. Meyer & Associates at 614-407-7900.

R.F. Meyer & Associates provides Tailored Legal Planning to suit your family’s needs through all stages of life. Expert services are offered in elder law, estate planning and administration, probate administration, trust administration, asset preservation, tax planning, guardianships, special needs planning, and Medicaid eligibility planning and litigation. Contact us today to arrange a free 15-minute phone consultation to assess your needs.