The Elrod Firm

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Can I own my home and qualify for Medicaid assistance?

Justin, My father recently suffered a bad fall and is now receiving rehab from a local in-patient nursing and rehabilitation facility. If my father ends up needing to stay in the nursing home long-term, and he later applies for Medicaid, will he be allowed to keep his home? – Fred.

Fred, Thanks for writing us. The current laws could allow your father to qualify for Medicaid assistance while owning a home. Medicaid will treat a home, with a value up to about $500,000, as a non-countable resource when determining if an applicant qualifies for assistance, provided that the applicant either submits a written statement that provides he or she intends to return home if medically able or if he or she has a dependent spouse or relative residing in the home.

Even though an applicant can qualify for Medicaid while owning a home, it is important to visit with an Elder Law Attorney before submitting an application for benefits to determine whether you could benefit from a legal plan to avoid Medicaid Estate Recovery problems at death.   Estate Recovery rules provide that when a Medicaid applicant dies, the State of Arkansas can place a lien on a home and once the home is sold, the State will be reimbursed for the money that they paid out in benefits. This often times means that there will be nothing left for the family to inherit. To ensure that a home is protected for the next generation upon your death, it is imperative to consult with an Elder Law Attorney to discuss your available planning options.   There are different planning options for single individuals and married couples, and options can vary greatly depending on your family and financial circumstances.

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