What can I do to make sure my dad could go into a nursing home if needed in the future?

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My father is 89, he has social security of 1988 a month and a pension of 356. He currently lives in his own apartment and has no other assets.

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I spoke with Medicaid NJ yesterday and found I have done it all wrong. I was told that when Mom moved out of her house and into an AL that I should have been charging my disabled Nephew, who has been living there since 2008, rent of $1600 a month. He brings in $1000. And, he should have been paying the utilities. Taxes should have been stopped. This is just so she could get Medicaid when she needed it. No guarentee she would get it or may pass before. And the house if sells, should sell at market value. So it comes down to, I guess,
I should have put the house up for sale and left it. I have made an appt with a medicaid lawyer to discuss options.
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You should look into Medicaid for him. He is allowed to own $2,000 in countable assets.
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Many people do not know that every state has Medicaid estate recovery as well. This means once both your mom and dad pass the state can place a lien on their home or other assets to collect what they paid out in benefits. Here is a link to New Jersey's program
http://www.state.nj.us/humanservices/dmahs/clients/The_NJ_Medicaid_Program_and_Estate_Recovery_What_You_Should_Know.pdf

Some options would be an immediate need annuity. This is taking a chunk of money at least $50,000+ and buying an annuity where the insurance company provides a guaranteed monthly income for the rest of your dad's life. This provides reliable income to help pay for his care. This isn't the right fit for everyone but can be good depending on your situation. If he was ever in the service there are also veteran's benefits that can help out.
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I just talked to NJ Medicaid and was told Mom would have to get down to 15,OOO before I could even apply and the application is only good for 90 days. I was told to start looking into Nursing Homes now. I was also told that all her income would be handed over to Medicaid. If her house does not sell I will have to leave it because Medicaid does not allow to use money to pay bills and taxes. And if I chose to, I would have to keep very good records.
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Check your state medicaid site to determine eligibilty for Medicaid. Income is one aspect, assets is another. Assuming no assets, he would clearly need medicaid in my area. Nursing homes are $11 - 13,000/month. Quietly, begin to assemble paperwork --- it's tax season so you can just make duplcates for a medicaid file. Do you have power of attorney? If so, you may have some of this info already. Make sure he doesn't begin to give money away as there is a 5 year look back for Medicaid. If he is low income in your area, determine all programs that will help stretch his income dollars. Things like energy subsidies and prescriptions assistance. Food pantries? Why would you want to accumulate money? Before he might need a nursing home, you would want to be sure his dental work is current. Funeral plans are prepaid. Depending upon his wardrobe, he might need to update certain things -- shoes, etc. Good luck
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What exactly is a Miller Trust?
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You should probably look into applying for Medicaid for him. Check out your State Medicaid website.

If he is over the limit for income, you can look into setting up a Miller Trust.
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