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Igloo, You're the cat's pajamas!
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OK, I think you all are thinking that mom needs to get on Medicaid so she can have Medicaid pay for her care either in a facility or get some home health services. For Medicaid they have to be "at-need" for to qualify. And they have to qualify "at-need" both financially and medically. For medical you need to work with her MD to have it so that she shows the need for skilled nursing services.

But for finances she may have 2 issues:
- Medicaid looks at their ASSETS & INCOME to determine being "at-need".
The IRA is considered an asset. Most state have the Medicaid asset limit at 2K. So if the IRA is more than 2K then she will have to spend it down. Say it is 8K, then mom is over her asset limit by 6K. There are things you can spend-down the 8K on that are totally OK for Medicaid. Like a No Cash Value irrevocable funeral & burial policy; new hearing aids, glasses, dental work - those are all really good as they are pitiful or non-existent on Medicaid. We did thousands of spend-down in dental for my mom. Sadly your mom is going to have to cash in the IRA but at least she can spend it on stuff she needs rather than just pay a facility the money. If she needs to update any legal, this too is good to spend money on.

Now if it's the case that she every month in INCOME has too much money for Medicaid, mom may be able to do a Miller Trust aka Qualified Income Trust to get her monthly income to Medicaid compliant level.

How Miller works is this: say Mom get's $ 900 a month in SS and then mom also gets a federal retirement annuity from her late hubby for $ 1,200 a month and also another small state retirement from her old job of $ 300 a month. So every month mom has a monthly income of $ 2,400.00. No matter what, mom get's $ 2,400. Mom lives in TX and TX has the Medicaid income ceiling at $ 2,094.00. So mom is over the limit by $ 306.00. Mom gets denied Medicaid as she make too much income. Now that $ 306.00 is what will fund the Miller Trust. Every month the trust lives or grows by $ 306.00 and because it does, mom's income is $ 2,094.00 and so she qualifies for Medicaid. Champagne all around! Miller is totally legit and done all the time. Most states recognize Miller - it was a big deal legally when Miller won in the courts. The money that goes into Miller has the trust set up so that the beneficiary of the trust is the state's Medicaid program. Family can't touch the $ nor will they inheirit the trust when mom dies. It all goes to the state. Miller needs to be done by an experienced elder law attorney. NAELA type & this site has a drop down list of elder law by states. The key with Miller is that the income has to be a type that is a guaranteed income (so anything federal are good to go for Miller) and it needs to be done correctly so that it is a flexible living trust. So if SS goes up by $ 5.00, the trust can adjust to the new amount seamlessly. If this sounds like something that fits what your mom's income issue is, go and see good legal to see if this can work for her. Good luck.
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She makes too much a month. She has no assets left except a small IRA. Right now her home health provider is costing me more than her social security that I pay out of pocket plus all her living expenses, but yet when I go to facilities they tell me that she doesn't have enough for their programs and my husband and I can no where afford the above costs they are talking. I guess I just need help to understand the system and how to get it to work in her favor.
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What is the situation that is keeping her from qualifying?

Is it that she make just too much income each month to pass the Medicaid income limit? Or does she have assets that are a problem...like she has an insurance policy that has a cash value.

More details would be helpful to give you suggestions.
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You'll have to pay for personal care until she spends down to qualify for medicaid..
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