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Both cattails & Jeanne are spot-on.

If one is on NH Medicaid all of their "income" like SS or retirement must all be paid to the NH less whatever is the state's personal needs allowance. Some states have it as low as $ 30 and other states have it higher. My mom's is $ 60 a mo.

When the NH Mediciaid resident dies, then their "assets" like their home (which was an exempted asset when they were alive) can be recouped by the state through MERP. MERP is the federally required Medicaid Estate Recovery Program. How each state does or doesn't do MERP is varied. A lot of it dependent on the states probate or estate law as some states view MERP and its relationship to the home as a lien and other states as a claim.

For example in TX, MERP is a class 7 claim (and not a lien). That means there are 6 other classes of claims that must be paid first in probate. So you really need to look up your states Medicaid & MERP program to see what's what. Good luck.
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If the person has a monthly income, such as SS, SSI, pension, etc., most of it will be applied to the cost of care, leaving a small personal allowance. After the person passes away, the state may recoup cost from the person's house (if the person had one, of course). Not all states seem to do this aggressively, and there are exceptions, but it is a possibility.
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To qualify for medicaid, the person has to have limited cash assets. Assets from a home would be taken after the person passes away.
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