At first blush this appears to be a transfer that could cause a period of ineligibility for benefits for your mother. But the big question is whose money was it to begin with? If it was your money, you may be able to explain why you added your mother’s name to the account and not have a penalty. A Rhode Island elder law attorney can advise you on how the Medicaid agency treats these situations and whether the facts in your case make it possible to protect the funds, or perhaps half of them.
For more on the potential dangers of joint accounts, click here and here.