By Marlo Sollitto
Q: My father recently turned 65, then suffered a massive stroke and is paralyzed. He started receiving Medicaid a few months after the stroke. He also qualifies for disability from his insurance company. Will he lose his Medicaid if he gets disability?
A: Under the Medicaid rules, unearned income (such as those from your father's disability insurer) must be applied to the nursing home bill. If there is still a balance of payments due each month, then Medicaid will pick up the difference.
Depending on state law, if the payments are above a certain limit, he may need to set up a Qualfied Income Trust to receive the income payments, and from which the nursing home bills will be paid.
Total income includes the disability insurance plus any other income, such as a pension or Social Security. In rare cases his total income can be so high that the entire nursing home bill would be paid from the income, so that Medicaid would no longer be available.