What is the 5 year lookback period?

One of the most common questions we get from elder law clients who wish to do medicaid planning is "What is the five year lookback period?"

An applicant for Medicaid long-term care services is required to report transfers of assets (e.g. gifts or other transfers) by the applicant or his or her spouse during the five-year period prior to the application. For example, if a husband is applying for Medicaid long-term care on August 1, 2015, he has to report any transfers made by him and his wife from and including August 1, 2010 through and including August 1, 2015.

If a transfer is not otherwise exempt, the general rules is that the Department of Social Services (DSS) in Connecticut will impose a penalty period (which is effectively a disqualification period) during which time the applicant will not be eligible for Medicaid long-term care services.

In a future article, we will discuss the penalty period and exceptions to the rules, but feel free to reach out to us in the meantime if you would like a consultation with an Elder Law Attorney or a Medicaid Planning Attorney in Connecticut. You can reach us at (203) 651-5521. If you would like to learn more about the Firm and what others are saying, click here for more information.