How would a county tax overage refund of $15,000 after foreclosure on his home, affect my brother's Medicaid?

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My 74-year old, mentally disabled brother "Rob," fell and broke his hip five years ago. He spent around two months in the hospital, but never healed enough to walk without assistant, and now uses a wheelchair. He was transferred to a longterm nursing home from the hospital. My other brother and his wife have power-of-attorney for Rob. They applied for Medicaid for him, and they live in the same city. Prior to breaking his hip, Rob lived in his own home, and was carefully monitored by my brother and his wife. Four years ago his home went into foreclosure and was auctioned off by the county for taxes due. A week ago, we found Rob's name on a list, published by the county, for people who are owed a tax overage refund. Rob is due a refund of $15,000. My sister-in-law is afraid to claim the money for Rob, because she is afraid he will lose his Medicaid. Is that true? I have done a lot of research online, but have not found any information about this specific situation. Rob definitely qualifies as a hardship case, because he needs 24-hour nursing care, and does not have any family who is capable of providing that level of care in their home. I lived with Rob in his home for 10 years, until 1999 when I moved out of state. Rob, my other brother and his wife all live in South Carolina. Are there any exceptions that would allow Rob to receive the refund, or my sister-in-law to receive it on his behalf without jeapordizing his Medicaid eligibility? My brother and his wife buy anything he needs, such as clothes, grooming supplies, snacks and TV.

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Thanks to all the responders for your excellant advice. I will update when we have a definitive answer.
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GSA, interesting theory. I hope the OP comes back with explanations; I'd like to know more about this situation.
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Please talk to an attorney. The overage, Garden, MAY be the overage due to difference in the amount paid for the home above the property taxes due on the home. If the home sold at auction for more than the lien, the balance is due to the property owner. Depending on when he went on Medicaid, this money may be encumbered by Medicaid lien. If not due back to Medicaid, it would be a great idea to look into a special needs trust or one of the new state administered special trusts for disabled that you don't have to set up separate accounting and reporting for. Special Needs Attorney with Medicaid specialty. If the state database shows that he has money due and Medicaid finds it before you apply, could cause all kinds of problems if not disclosed.
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For what years is the overage? If the home was foreclosed 4 years ago, I assume the overage is for years prior to that. I'm not familiar enough with Medicaid to know how an overage, or a rebate on property tax paid, would be handled, but I think the period of time of time for which the rebate has been issued might be a factor. And if I understand correctly, it's a refund of taxes paid; whether that would be considered income by Medicaid might be the question.

$15,000 is a lot of tax - unless he had an expensive home and/or high tax rates, that would span several years.
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Dear grrrfriend - You may want to ask an 'Elder Law' attorney about setting up a "Special Needs Trust" for your brother. A quick consult (usually free) would be a good route to take on this.
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