What seems to make sense when buying things for your parents can cause problems

A number of times over the last few weeks, I have run into a recurring problem.  Mom and dad do not have a debit card and they don’t get out much so the child or children do the shopping for mom and dad.  The child then adds up the expenses and then mom and dad write a check to the child to cover all those expenses plus a little for “gas and inconvenience”.

This makes total sense and is a very convenient way to handle the business UNTIL we have to apply for Medicaid during the next five years.  As I have talked about on numerous occasions, gifting is a huge issue with Medicaid.  They look for gifts and will pretty much consider any check written to the child as a gift regardless of the reason.

My suggestion in these situations is to have mom and dad pay directly for any expenses with a check or preferably with a debit card (which is just as safe as a credit card when run as a credit – see this article):


By doing this, the DHS caseworker will have very little reason to suspect anything is up and it avoids the need to explain and backup all those checks to the children.

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