How can I find out if Medicaid seized an account of a deceased family member? I believe my cousin is stealing my mother's money.
2 Answers from Attorneys
The Alabama Medicaid Agency does not seize accounts of applicants or beneficiaries. In order to qualify for benefits, the applicant must provide financial information, including bank statements of all accounts, to the Alabama Medicaid Agency in order to show that no funds were given away (or stolen). I am not sure of the facts in your case, but without some kind of court action like an estate claim in probate court, Medicaid would have no claim on your mother's account. You should see an elder law attorney to give them the precise facts for more precise advice.
As a follow up, if your mother was a Medicaid recipient prior to her death, there could be several explanations that would result in money going to Medicaid, as it would have a claim against assets: 1) as previously stated, a claim against the estate could be made - you can check with probate court to see if an estate was opened; 2) Medicaid sends a questionnaire after death with a demand for reimbursement and your cousin may have sent funds in response; 3) if your mother had a qualifying income trust at death, your cousin would have had to have sent the balance to Medicaid and 4) if your mother had a special needs trust, Medicaid would be the beneficiary at death and it would be sent automatically if the Alabama Family Trust administered it. While its not a "seizure", I can certainly see where someone might equate the action as one. I hope this is helpful.