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I've been living with and caring for my 86 year old mom for the past 5 years in my mom's home. She cannot live alone because of dementia. She is going to have to go to a nursing home soon because her dementia is getting worse and she is getting very hard to handle: hallucinations, outbursts of anger and rage, and violent dreams. My mom owns her home and has no spouse and the house is in her name only. She does not have cash funds to pay for a nursing home except for her Social Security income. Her only asset is her house. Will Medicaid take her house to pay for the nursing home? Is there anyway I can legally keep the house once she goes to a nursing home?

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As others have said, there is an exception to the gift rules if a parent transfers the home to the child who has cared for the parent (and lived in the same house) for at least 2 years immediately preceding the date the parent entered the nursing home. You will need a physician's statement that your care was necessary to delay your mother needing nursing home care.
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Speak to an elder attorney. Talk to them about the payback period for Medicaid.
If she deeds you the home, there is a payback period for Medicaid. I believe it is 5 years. If she lives five more years then there isn't a penalty.
If she should die before that time then Medicaid will want a portion of those funds back.
If the house is paid for, then you could probably take out a loan to pay back Medicaid what they need.
The sooner you are able to get the deed in your name, then the sooner the clock starts ticking for Medicaid.
If she does go into a nursing home, and qualifies for Medicaid, which she should, then you will be able to live in the home until she passes. Then the above issues come into play.

Talk to an attorney. The small fee that they charge is well worth it.
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You should be able to keep your mother's house if you lived with her and cared for her in her house for 2 years prior to her going into a nursing home. I suggest you contact at least 3 Elderlaw attorneys before doing anything. Look for smaller firms or sole practioners who may give you a free consultation over the phone especially if they think they will get the Medicaid application case. But before you even contact the attorneys, research yourself online. Google something like "Medicaid parents house caregiver exception". You will learn a lot and be more prepared before you even talk to an attorney. There are so many helpful sites and articles on this if you just search for them using the correct wording. The reason behind the caregiver exception is that by caring for your parent in her house for at least 2 years you kept her out a nursing home and thus saved them money. If they allow you to transfer the deed using the care giver excemption, then do it but make sure your mother qualifies for Medicaid before you do this. Good luck!
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Elf, I did google that Medicaid Child Exemption.... Hell to the freaking YES. If an adult child has lived in the parents home for more than 2 years, has provided the care and kept that parent out of a nursing home, then they can't take the house. That's what I'm talkin' about, baby! Thanks SO much for that tip! :D
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you should check the AVVO website where you can receive free attorney input as well as ratings of them.
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Get a lawyer and cover your ass. I agree with getting a loan if you have to to pay for the nursing home...better that then facing the streets after all these years of not being able to work. I think the way the system works is absolutely ridiculous, that the freaking government will take the only house a care giver has and fully expect them to be willing to beggar themselves AFTER that same care giver has saved them BILLIONS(all of us combined)a year thanks to OUR hard work! What, give up our own jobs out of necessity, be out of the work force for years to our own detriment, then give up the only roof we have over our heads? Hell no. Get a lawyer. Fast. Or get your mom on some serious drugs to calm her down so she's manageable. I would try drugs first.
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Definitely see an Lawyer who specializes in Senior Laws... The sooner you start the legal system going the better...
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I wish there were an edit/delete button on this forum.
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You probably can keep it if you have been caring for her, and kept her out of the NH by caring for her. That's the law as I understand it.
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sorry to say but yes the house will need to be sold and the money spent for her care and then you can apply for medicaid to cover the nursing home, as I just went through that myself, no home to sell but went through the medicaid process and got my mom into a nursing home, best wishes and many prayers
going to have to disagree with pink as the laws have changed now, the penalty would be the value of the home and you would be responible for paying for her nursing home care until the amount the home is worth.
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