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We are Georgia residents, I am disabled with wife caretaker. We live with and take care of 86 yo Mom. She is going deeper into dementia. Wife and I are her caretakers as he also cares for me. My Social Security is not enough to support us nor is the small check from private disability which runs out May 2016. She has 3K retirement from USPO and full Fed insurance. If she has to sell home to go into center we become homeless as we can't wait a year or two for section 8 housing or anything. Must she sell the home to go in even with her income. Also she has a lot of debt to pay off as well. Would she be better off to bankrupt? Her main consideration as well as ours is that we end up homeless and on the streets which, as you can understand, is something we wish to avoid.
Does anyone have any information?
My wife read somewhere that in Georgia if you are disabled and living with your parent you can not be turned out of the home. Does anyone have info on this? Are there any laws that could be helpful at all? Thank you all in advance, and please help if you can. Tom. Oh, and if this helps, I am 64 and have draw SS Disability.

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Thank you for that, Pam. In truth we second mortgaged our own home in 2005 to pay off her over reaches. Didn't mind, as she had helped us some. But please be careful before you judge someone. And yes, we love our westies very much. Just want all of us to be alright.
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Tom, you have an awful lot on your plate and two lovely (and expensive, purebred) dogs on your lap. I think you will be just fine if you take some antidepressants. Sorry if I thought you were sponging off mom and expecting too much of your wife. Good luck.
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Sorry but this know nothing person walks in and convicts us as guilty of things we have never done. No trial nor jury, just good old Pam Stegman and her know all tell all mind and practices. Wrong place, Pam, wrong time, wrong people.
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Wow,
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To Pam Stegman, it is plain to see that you goodie goodies with cranial rectitus jump to your own conclusions so rapidly you can't see the truth. The truth is we gave to my Mom and kept her fed along with other things. My my, glad you aren't the only judge in life.
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Sunny - MERP / Medicaid asset is run uniquely in each state as it's an aspect of Medicaid and Medicaid is managed or administered by each state but within an overall federal guideline. Under MERP (which is required to be done by the fed's for all states), the exempt asset can have either a lien or a claim placed on the property from the time that the recipient signs off on the Medicaid application. However the asset remains exempt until the Medicaid person dies and from that point on the property becomes non-exempt with the claim or lien attached to it. It has to be "lifted" or removed by a state provided document of the specific release for the property (by name and parcel # usually) from MERP before the house can legally transfer or sell to another. Unless there is something like a Lady Bird deed on the house or a LIfe Estate, if your state allows for those to be done under Medicaid. If your state does the lien approach, then it's there from the get go. If your state does a claim, then how probate runs is going to be a huge factor in what will happen. Like for TX, MERP is a level of class probate state and MERP is class 7 so all the other classes have to be paid first & foremost so MERP is low for those who actually do probate in TX. Problem is that many families don't do probate and also just ignore dealing with MERP. They do not file the available exemptions, exclusions or hardships allowed and then MERP's claim or lien basically can occur by default.

No, you don't get kicked out of the house, but the day will come when you need to do something with the property, like sell it or use it as equity or get a loan to do home repairs on it and you cannot as there is a claim or lien against it and you cannot show true legal ownership. As a side story to this, we went through Hurricane Katrina and I did some outreach after the storm, what happened again & again was that family who had been living in their house for years & years never legally transferred the property to their name; it was still in their old auntie's name or grandpa's name and just passed down generationally. Whomever was there paid the taxes, kept up the house and often got insurance policies. Now when they went to get disaster recovery aid, they didn't qualify as they didn't legally own the home; the insurance company considered the policy void as they were not legally the owner so no settlement although they might return the $ paid for the policy; all the programs like SBA, Road Home, Make it Right had $$ but you had to show true legal ownership and so many just could not. This is one of the big reasons why there are blocks after blocks of empty blighted land in SE Louisiana and the MS coast. I was just flabbergasted that people just would not do probate or deeds done to ensure true legal ownership.

If later on, someone is buying the house & doing this via a mortgage, they will need title insurance. Title companies are very good on finding out if there could be MERP out there and if there is either you have to do whatever to get the release from MERP (like sign off all proceeds of the sale to MERP) or be able to put up an indemnity $$ to cover the title insurance before you can ever sell the house. If you didn't disclose the MERP existed, the buyers can sue due to fraudulent real estate listing too. Realtors very not happy. Bad situation all around.

You don't want to ignore MERP. Just how MERP's done and how easy or difficult all this is very much dependent on your state laws for probate, property, etc and also your own ability to be able to document in a timely manner whatever is needed to present to MERP the exemptions, exclusions, etc and then do probate or muniment to legally transfer the property. You probably just don't want to find yourself a few years from now in real estate limbo, living in and paying on a property that you do not own that has a lien on it that you cannot afford to ever pay off and you missed the opportunity to file the exemptions needed to get the MERP release.
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I've only known of one person who got Section 8 housing and it didn't take "year or two". I'd get started working on that right away.
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ntw1950, you mentioned that your credit is bad.... what about your wife's credit? If her credit is good, maybe the both of you could look for a homeowner who has a basement apartment or in-law suite they would rent out to you.
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I would get legal counsel to see what you are entitled to and what remedies you may have as an adult child who lived in the home for two years prior to mother needing services. If mom intends to return home if possible, who is there to kick you out? There is no Medicaid asset recovery immediately, right?
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What I mean is people try to play it both ways. They want to collect full disability and then get benefits/keep the house as a caregiver. Medicaid will not allow benefits for both, they contradict each other. It is so sad to see children sponging off their parents and then expect it to go on forever.
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I was a caregiver. On disability.
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Pam what do you mean that "You cannot be a caregiver if you are on disability." That you cannot be a PAID caregiver? I don't understand what you are saying. And most disability case workers encourage people to work to the extent that they can (well, OK the 3 cases that I know of -- I don't suppose that is technically "most'.) I can think of many things that a person who is disabled and needs help himself still could do to help with some caregiving tasks for his mother. Yes, it sounds like Wife is doing most of the caregiving for two people. By why are you so quick to deny the poster's statement that he is a caregiver, too?
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I'm going to assume that Mom will be applying for Medicaid to pay for her NH stay. There are a couple of things to look at on all this:
- Mom's home is an exempt asset for Medicaid by & large in most states and is exempt for the rest of their life. They will need to do (or their DPOA can do) a "intent to return" letter annually if they are on Medicaid if they have a home.

- MERP issues. Now all states are required to have a MERP - Medicaid Estate Recovery Program - set up to deal with any assets after death. Mom's house will go from an exempt asset to a non-exempt asset after she dies. Now each state runs their MERP slightly differently (just like the rest of Medicaid does) as MERP is really interdependent on your states probate, death and property laws. All states have exemptions, exclusions and hardships which family can file on MERP which can make the property be removed from MERP's clawback. Most states have a full exemption for caregivers who have lived in the property for at least 2 years and who's caregiving have kept the Medicaid person from going into a NH for those 2 years - your wife should be able to get that qualification. There also can be exemptions on low-income inheritors…..like if the house was taken by MERP then they would then have to go into Section 8 housing, so if that's the case the state would end up paying the Section 8 so instead letting them have the house is better. There should be a listing of all the MERP details on state's website.

Now MERP you don't deal with till after they die, which then poses the ?…
- can you afford the house once mom goes into a home? Once she's is in a NH and on Medicaid, she will be required to do a co-pay or her "SOC" to the NH of all her monthly income less a small personal allowance (from $ 35 - 90 a mo). Mom will have no money to pay for anything on the house. You & your spouse will need to be able to pay for everything on the still in mom's name home. Can you afford the taxes, insurance, utilities, yard stuff etc for the possible years & years that mom is in a NH. Yes in the long run you can inherit the house and get an MERP exemption, but can you all afford to be in the house for years & years? Go through the bills for the past couple of years to get an accurate cost and then look hard at you & wife's income to see if the math works. Keeping ma's house works only if you have the ability to pay for all the upkeep on the house.

- ? for you. You say mom has 3K from USPO, correct? So is it the case that mom gets each month about $ 3,000.00 a mo retirement? If so, mom is going to be over the Medicaid limit for monthly income. Most states have the limits set at about 2K for income and 2 K for assets. She will be denied Medicaid as it stands over 2K. Now mom can do a Miller Trust to deal with the excess income and get is so that she is under whatever is your states income limit. You will need to get an elder law attorney to do this for you. It is NOT a DIY project, really truly. What I'd suggest is that you get all mom's financials together (especially her award letter from USPO) and then the house paperwork and see an elder law attorney to come up with options for you all to do to ensure mom's qualifying and then you inheriting the house. Mom may be able to put the home in a special needs trust for you if you are disabled so that you do this before she applies for Medicaid.

- about the debt, the attorney can guide you on options on that too. A lot of what is possible will depend on your states laws. Like TX is real pro property rights so consumer debt cannot attach a lien to your home but other states they can. Stuff like this makes a difference in how to approach bankruptcy or just ignore the debt that mom has. Good luck.
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You cannot be a caregiver if you are on disability, so forget that angle. Nor are you a disabled child. So your wife must be caring for two people, which is horribly unfair. Maybe you could find a part-time job within your limitations.
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Seek a Georgia eldercare attorney who knows the ropes with Medicaid in Georgia. Typically a home is an exempt asset as long as the persons says they intend to return, and there are *sometimes* exemptions on estate recovery for family caregivers living in the home. You may have to pay a few hundred for the consultation, but that can come from Mom's funds and could be very, very much worth the expense.

That said, is there an assisted living that would meet her needs (instead of a skilled nursing facility) and be within her budget for private pay, leaving just maintenace expenses for you at the house (assuming she own it and is not paying off a first or second mortgage or anything)? Are her debts manageable or not? If not, a *reputable* consumer credit organization could help, and bankruptcy would not be out of the question given that income level; either could leave her with a manageable amount to pay monthly.
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