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As the application is processing, rules kick in and count all $ available to pay for spouse's nursing home care. Next, a rule kicks in that puts on the breaks and determines only some joint resources are for him, some for her. He needs money to live in the nursing home, she need money to live in the community.

If you have significant resources, you will be required to spend down quite a lot. Whatever is his and yours or both of yours might be required to be spent for either or both. When monthly living expenses get factored into this process, the community spouse is usually allowed more resources to be kept for her his/her own use.

All accounts/investments of all types for the past 5 years are reviewed whether owned jointly or individually. If either of you gifted money to anyone during this time, you are considered to have given away money that should have been saved for your own life expenses. Medicaid treats gifting as such a negative act, that it disqualifies people from Medicaid for some period of time. If you haven't gifted, you don't have to worry about this part.

The higher the value of your assets on the date in which you applied for Medicaid, the better chance you will be able to keep a little more for yourself.
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Reply to Houseplant102
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As the spouse you will not be left impoverished.

The best way to understand is contact Medicaid in your town and have a meeting with a social worker. Make a list of questions that you need answered or if you can afford it get a certified elder law attorney (www.nelf.org) they can help you protect yourself and get your wife's application filed.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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