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My husband, age 66, has Medicare and a supplemental plan. I am 62 and pay an exorbitant amount for lousy health insurance, like a lot of others. Hubby is disabled and becoming more so as time goes on. We subsist on his Social Security which leaves us with under $100 left each month. We have a tiny savings. Our home is not paid off and even the car is leased. My question is, if he needs to go to skilled care, and there is no doubt in my mind that time is coming, how do we handle it? How will I maintain my own life? My mom, who is in a NH and on Medicaid, could only have $1200 in assets before they would approve her. Will I still receive my husband's Social Security if he goes to a nursing home? How would I even go about handling this? What will happen to me?

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Have you looked into applying for SSI? That is Supplemental Security Insurance, for disabled poor people who didn't work enough to get Social Security Disability Insurance, SSDI. It is run by Social Security Administration but is funded differently. To stretch your income look into SNAP benefits (food stamps), senior commodities and get food from your local food bank. You could also probably get coupons for the local farmer's market to use during the summer. Check with the county Area Agrncy on Aging. They may also be able to guide you to a better medical insurance program. Have you looked into Medicaid instead of a supplemental plan to go with the Medicare?
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Thanks to you both for your advice. Veronica91, I am not insulted at all by your honesty and suggestions. :0). I did some research and found that in my state, I could probably (hopefully) keep most of what hubby gets from SS. That's wishful thinking, of course. My own health does not permit me to work, and as a stay-at-home mom, my own Social Security benefits don't even count. I've decided to stay informed, but I'm not trying to predict the future. I've handled a lot in the past several years, and I have confidence I can handle whatever else Life throws at me.
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Hugemom, Every state is different. But you would be considered the "community spouse" and husband would be the "impoverished spouse." You would be allowed to keep your home and one vehicle. Then your assets (savings) would be taken into consideration. In Illinois, the community spouse can keep a little over $100,000 in assets. Then they will figure how much you need monthly to live. Then the joint income will be divided with you being allotted enough to live on and the remainder goes toward your husbands care. You would have to make a Public Aid application when the time comes for him to enter a nursing home. Don't panic. There is help out there.
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Hugemom i won't pretend I know any of the answers you are seeking so I would suggest you pay a visit to your local social security office and seek their advice about your rights.
I assume your Mom is single so only her assets were considered when she applied for Medicaid. If your husband enters a facility you will be considered the community spouse and Medicaid allows you to keep certain assets such as your house and car. Affording them is another matter of course.
Hubby's social security will go towards the cost of his care with a small amount allowed for him to have for personal spending each month.
Are you working or is there a possibly of that if hubby no longer needs you at home? Do you have enough contributions to get your own social security when you reach the appropriate age? If not can you work enough to make up the difference?
There are ways round every problem so try not to get too despondent about your situation. It sounds as though you may be low income enough now to qualify for subsidized housing which would mean you can sell your existing home and not need to worry about those expenses. You probably need to keep your car unless you can manage with public transport or rely on friends and family and the occasional cab.
Your life is going to change there is no denying that and you may need to do things you would prefer not to have to but start thinking outside the box.
You have Internet so try looking at all the money saving sites to get ideas for frugal living and begin practicing. Obviously i don't know you but are you in anyway self sufficient like growing and preserving your own food, shopping at thrift stores and garage sales, or avoiding convenience foods. Many senior centers have very cheap meals during the week and there is always meals on wheels.
I am sorry if you are totally offended by what I have said but this is the way i run my life. Others will have more precise information for you but try and remain positive and proactive. Good Luck
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