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Can they keep anything from Social Security and/or their VA benefit. Can the VA benefit keep them from getting Medicaid?

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I haven't heard good things about the VA home in Grand Rapids.
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Hi Meda -- are you already on Medicaid or are you considering applying? We are looking at this right now for my grandpa, regarding Aid and Attendance. He will need Medicaid soon -- probably needs it now -- but A&A is what is allowing us to keep him at home.

If you are receiving A&A, then you (or the person about whom you are writing) have demonstrated significant need. More than likely you will qualify for Medicaid, but the Medicaid might then affect the VA pension. You are required to notify the VA when you apply for Medicaid or a Medicaid-affiliated benefit like PACE. That is where it gets a little confusing because the VA (at least the person we spoke to) could not tell us up front what the effect would be. But basically, Aid and Attendance is not considered typical “income” the way your Social Security or basic VA pension are so if you are looking at qualifying for certain programs, the A&A should not affect you adversely.

Moving into Assisted Living should not affect A&A, but Igloo is right about Medicaid not typically covering Assisted Living. If you are not on Medicaid yet, and can find availability in someplace like American House which is Senior Living for veterans, they take income into consideration. They will look at SS and your basic VA pension to determine your income (and therefore monthly cost to reside there). You could potentially end up using your A&A to help pay the bill, but they cannot take it from you. They do not work directy with the VA the way nursing homes directly bill Medicaid. Does that make sense?

The VA has two nursing homes for veterans, one in Marquette and the other in Grand Rapids. I do not know what the waiting list is like for those, or whether you or your loved one has family or friends close enough for that to be a reasonable move.

Igloo is right about the trend being toward keeping seniors at home. If your person is not ready to go to a nursing home but has need for care, Michigan has three programs that can help them stay at home: PACE (only in certain areas of Mich -- it is a partnership betw. Medicaid and Medicare and the limits for qualifying are less restrictive than Medicaid alone), the Michigan Choice Waver (you can get information through Area Agency on Aging), or the Veteran-Directed Care program (through the VA). All three of these are new to our state or have changed in the past couple years. It is really hard to get information, and I think part of it is that things keep changing! Best of luck.
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Medicaid is a needs based entitlement in which your income is a determinant in whether you qualify. Each state administers its Meducaid program uniquely so you need to find out what the monthly income maximum is allowed.

But you also should find out clearly IF your states Medicaid program will cover AL.
Medicaid is primarily designed to cover skilled nursing care in a NH. If AL is covered it will be a medicaid waiver program that does this and so more limited # of waivers available & limited in # of vendors who even take a wavier..

Most AL is private pay & run about 3K-4K a mo. SS average $800/1100 a mo & A&A maybe $1500, so between the two covers most of AL cost with your savings or family filling in the gap. Often AL have a very limited # of medicaid waiver beds which are filled via a waiting list that takes 1-3 years of private pay before your names comes up.

Also states seem to be prioritizing waivers towards PACE. I'd suggest you check to see if PACE is the new model for paying for care for your state & in your area cause if so that is what you will be evaluated for placement as the costs are less than individual AL.
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