The Caregiver Penalty

In a crushing blow to family values, the Third Department of the Appellate Division of New York’s Supreme Court recently held that the state properly imposed a penalty period on a Medicaid applicant who transferred assets to her caregiver daughter because she did not submit proof of a written agreement with her daughter or receipts for expenses. Matter of Krajewski v. Zucker (N.Y. Sup. Ct., App. Div., 3rd Dept., No. 522888, Dec. 8, 2016).

Jessie Krajewski lived with her daughter for two years before entering a nursing home. Ms. Krajewski’s husband withdrew money from their joint bank account to reimburse Ms. Krajewski’s daughter for her caregiving expenses. After Ms. Krajewski entered the nursing home, she applied for Medicaid. The state imposed a penalty period based, in part, on the transfers made to Ms. Krajewski’s daughter.

Ms. Krajewski appealed, arguing that because the transfers were made to reimburse her daughter for her care, the payments were not made in order to qualify for Medicaid. After a hearing, the state upheld the penalty period, and Ms. Krajewski appealed to court.

The Courts decision against Ms. Krajewski centers on the finding that Ms. Krajewski did not rebut the presumption that the transfers were made in order to qualify for Medicaid, i.e. that she didn’t prove that he money was actually for care re-imbursement.

The court finds that there was no evidence of a written agreement between Ms. Krajewski and her daughter and the only evidence consisted of handwritten summaries of Ms. Krajewski’s living expenses, which was not enough to rebut the presumption.

The lesson here is that with a proper caregiver agreement and expense documentation this result could have been significantly different for this family.  If you or a loved one are rendering or receiving care, or anticipate being able to benefit from a caregiver agreement, call Jeffrey P. Reisner, Esq. today!  We are here to serve you in Syracuse/Central New York, and remember, when it comes to these types of issues its all about your life, your legacy, and your peace of mind.  Call today at 315-422-6666.