Medicaid Caregiver Child Exemption Success Story in New Jersey:
Home Saved & Nursing Home Paid
Flaster Greenberg’s seasoned elder law attorney Jane M. Fearn-Zimmer, obtained a landmark Medicaid Final Agency Decision for her elderly, ailing client and her family after a three-year long dispute with the Division of Medical Assistance & Health Services and the Burlington County Board of Social Services in New Jersey. The Appellate Court ultimately ruled in favor of Jane’s client and reversed a Medicaid penalty computed on the sum of $179,000, based on the equalized value of the family home, which was gifted by the elderly mother to her caregiver child. The final ruling is based on the exemption for a transfer to a caregiver child. This exception to the Medicaid transfer penalty is intended to encourage children to take care of their aging parents so the parent can remain at home as long as possible. The conditions of the exemption may be met where the parent has a documented need for 24/7 skilled nursing care during the two years immediately prior to the date the parent enters into a nursing home and the child provides such vital, round-the-clock care for the parent during that period. If these conditions are met, then the parent may transfer their home to the child without incurring any Medicaid penalty period, provided that the parent is otherwise financially eligible for Medicaid.
This case is a significant breakthrough, because since approximately 2015, there has been a substantial decrease in caregiver child exemptions awarded on Medicaid applications in the State of New Jersey, due in part to an internal change in the State’s Medicaid policy. Attorneys throughout the state began to notice that requests for caregiver child status were denied, particularly where the proposed caregiver child was gainfully employed, or working for pay, whether inside or outside the home.
Questions? Let Jane know.