The Elrod Firm


Why Was My Mother Denied Medicaid For Owning A Home?

Justin, after waiting four months for a decision my mother was recently denied Medicaid for being over-resourced. The nursing home said before they could apply for Medicaid she had to spend all her savings to below $2,000, but she would be able to keep her house. She spent over $50,000 privately paying for her care until she was spent down. The nursing home applied for Medicaid and it took months before we got her denial. To our dismay the denial said she has over $100,000 in assets because her house is in her Revocable Trust.   Now my sister and I are scrambling to sell the house to try to pay for all of these deficient bills. Is this right? – Jenny

Jenny, I am very sorry to hear about your mother’s situation. It is always stressful when a loved one moves into a nursing home, but that stress can become unbearable when you face a financial crisis like this. Unfortunately, it sounds like Medicaid reached a proper outcome here. Medicaid normally permits a single applicant to own a home, a car, burial and $2,000 in countable assets. The home is typically considered a non-countable asset, but when a house is owned in a trust it is a countable asset – subject to spend down. Since the value of her home was being counted, she was never below the $2,000 asset limit, so she will be disqualified for every month her application was pending.

It is imperative to meet with an Elder Law attorney before moving into a long-term care facility, or when problems like this arise. We thoroughly understand the complex Medicaid and VA Aid and Attendance laws, and we dedicate our entire practice to helping families avoid problems and protect their hard-earned assets.

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