Joint Accounts and Medicaid
This article by Attorney Gary DeWitt, practicing in estate planning, probate, guardianship, and elder law.
I am on my uncle’s savings and checking accounts at his bank in Pennsylvania. I am his power of attorney. I live in Arkansas and I am on Medicaid. Will being on his account as a power of attorney effect my Medicaid review next year? I appreciate any help you could offer.
Being a power of attorney for your uncle shouldn’t affect your eligibility because the money is never yours. Just be sure to not be writing yourself checks on the account. A power of attorney doesn’t make you the owner of the account.
However, when money is deposited into a joint account, it belongs to all the people on the account equally. It doesn’t matter who deposited the money. Anybody on the account can access the money in the account without the other people’s permission.
Joint accounts may affect Medicaid eligibility. The State will look at your assets to see if you still qualify for assistance. A joint account has multiple names on it, but most states will assume the applicant owns the entire amount in the account. It doesn’t matter who deposited the money because you have full access to it.
And, if you are an owner of a joint account and anybody transfers money out of the account, it can be considered an improper transfer of assets – a gift – for Medicaid purposes. That means that you or the other owners may be ineligible for Medicaid assistance for a while.