Can I put grandmother’s SSI into a Miller Trust so she can qualify for Medicaid or spend down?

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Can I put grandmother’s SSI into a Miller Trust so she can qualify for Medicaid or spend down?

My 93-year-old grandmother is currently on Medicaid and Medicare in assisted living. I need to move her so she can be closer to me while I am in school. I wanted to apply for Medicaid in my state so I can get her into an assisted living. Her only income is Social Security and it is approximately $1,300 gross a month. Medicaid in my state has a very low income cap of $1,240 or so a month, before healthcare costs. I was reading about Miller Trusts or qualified income trusts. Can I put her social security, which is her only income, into a trust, to lower the amount to qualify?

Asked on July 5, 2012 under Estate Planning, North Carolina

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Yes. The SSI income should be placed in a Miller Trust or QIT so that the income cap doesn't disqualify your grandmofher from receiving Medicaid. Do not attempt to create this on your own. You need an experienced estate planning attorney who handles elder law.

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