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The lawyer who put mom's house in a trust says I will lose the house now that I'm on Medicaid once I inherit it. He says I need to pay Medicaid back. I understand this, but I have nothing else. I applied for Obamacare after I lost my job, but was told I didn't qualify and was placed on Medicaid. I've now been on it for about 3 years and take care of my mom full time. She is handicapped and I must be with her 24/7. I'm so afraid of what's going to happen to me once mom dies. I'm 54, mom's 90. Yes I will find work, but I will only earn minimum wage and will not make enough to pay the taxes so I can't keep the house just by living in it. I have to sell it. My question is, has anyone else lost their inheritance to Medicaid and how did they survive it? The house is all I have. I have siblings, but they could not be burdened with the taxes either. Thanks so much.

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I am pretty well educated, but all of this sounds very complex and scary to me. Please seek out your state office for senior care and/or elder law (probably in your local law school). I wish you the best of luck.
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Crepella: You're welcome!
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Thanks to everyone again for all of their feedback. I really appreciate it.
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Crepella, the home is usually a non-countable asset, but please check out the link that JessieBelle mentioned.
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You really need to find an attorney who knows more about Medicaid. Yours is a rather complex story.
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See if a trust for you can be set up now so that the proceeds from the sale of the house go directly into a trust to care for your needs. I think this works as long as you never have access or control of the money from your inheritance. You do need an attorney to do this correctly. Good luck and bless you for being there for you Mom.
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Yes please, don't get ur Medicaid's mixed up. The guidelines for just health insurance r not the same for nursing home care. My nephew has Medicaid as a supplement to Medicare, he is disabled. Since he works for the ARC he is allowed to make up to $20,000. At the time he reapplied, he had $6000 in the bank. He has a Special Needs Trust that can't be figured in his income but Medicaid's aware of it. My cousin is disabled and allowed to live in his Mom's house where he was living at the time of her death. She received SSI and Medicaid HI. There is a lean on the house and has to be satisfied if he sells. I thought putting something in trust was to protect the house from Medicaid so it could be passed on. Why would now, if u inherit Medicaid can put a lean on it.
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Medicaid expansion is INCOME based only. If you earn less than 138% iirc of the federal poverty level then you qualify. It doesn't matter if you have a million dollars or 50 houses. If you don't earn over the marker, you are approved.
Regular Medicaid is MEANS based- you need to report all your income and assets aka your means. If you fall within the state limits, you are ok. If you don't, you have different options but you don't have to worry about that. This type of Medicaid does attempt to get paid back later.
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Oh, good to know. I thought SSI was social security. So much to know and understand. Thank you for the websites. For some reason I still don't understand the concept of means based as opposed to income based. Probably because I don't have any assets. Thanks so much again. I greatly appreciate the advice.
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I agree with others who have have said that lawyer doesn't understand the Medicaid Estate Recovery Program. Just ask the agency providing your MedicAid. They can explain it to you. And, if your Mom is getting $1300 a month she's not on SSI (Supplemental Security Income), as that is way too high a figure for SSI. And people on SSI get MedicAid. So if she's on Medicare and has that mu v h income she is getting Social Security NOT SSI. There's a huge difference.
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Find an elder law attorney in your area on www.naela.org (the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys). Medicaid rules vary from state to state.
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Crepella, please don't be afraid to go to the doctor! Medicaid is your insurance and you should use it! The lawyer you've spoken doesn't understand Medicaid. Relax!
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Asside from all the previous answers and advice all of which I agree. I would suggest renting a room to help with your bills if possible. Housing is outrageous in NY I dont know about where you are but I hope if needed you can find someone who is reliable hardworking and will appreciate and affordable space to call home. I am just saying thats an option when all else fails. Of course you have to be careful, screen, make em sign a prenupt :) that they will move out if asked or what ever.

I dont know much about rights and homes. Just saying it would be a way to pay a bill if you had too.

Im going to check out that link Jessie suggested.
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Medicaid expansion is only income based and there's no reclamation. Means based refers to them looking at your assets and stuff which isn't the situation you have.
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Don't worry about what the attorney said. It didn't apply to your situation at the present time. I suspect he doesn't know a lot about Medicaid.
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Thank you again. No, my mother does not make more than $2,000 a month. She only makes $1,300. And yes, I guess I was put on the "expansion", but I don't know what "means based" is. Mom does have more than $2,000 in her bank account though so maybe that's why? Not much more though. I lost my job and had no income but I did have some savings in the bank. About $3,000. But they didn't ask me about my savings. They just asked about my income and since I lost my job, there was none. So they put me on Medicaid instead of Obamacare and it's been that way for 3 years. I was given food stamps and have only seen the doctor twice, but since this lawyer has said I will now lose the home, I don't see the doctor at all anymore for fear I'll already lose everything because of the $150 we get a month for food stamps. I'm really very frightened. The home is so run down because we can't afford to fix anything, I just don't think it would ever sell anyway.
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Why would you lose the home? You're 55, so I assume you're on the Medicaid expansion which is income and not means based. There's not even a penalty if you ended up earning more than the limit as long as you weren't fraudulent about the estimate.
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Crepelia, I cannot imagine that your mom's SSI is over $2,000.00/month. Does she have other assets? To qualify for Medicaid, assets remaining need to be below $2,000.00. Even if her income is more that that there is a Medicaid waiver program where people that do not meet the income guidelines can get qualified.
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Thanks to everyone for their feedback. My mother is on Medicare. I think her ssi keeps her from being on Medicaid. I don't see myself staying here after she dies. I have thought about roommates before, but don't think that would work because I am not a strong personality and tend to get run over by others for lack of a better description. I will try to find an elder law attorney that I can talk to. Thank you. I don't know if the attorney mom has knows much about Medicaid. And being we are in Illinois, the rules seem to keep changing all the time. Thank you again.
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Here is a bit of information about houses. If you'll scroll down toward the bottom of the link, there is talk about Medicaid recovery regarding homes.

https://aspe.hhs.gov/basic-report/medicaid-treatment-home-determining-eligibility-and-repayment-long-term-care
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First of all, your lawyer doesn't understand Medicaid. You are not 55 and did not get Medicaid to go into a NH. You just accepted them as your insurance carrier IF you had to go to the doctor. It is a totally different thing than Medicaid after 55 for people going into long-term care.

The state will probably put a lien on your mother's house. What will happen depends on if you qualify for a caregiving child exemption and how your state handles the exemption. What you do want to do is keep a record of what you do for your mother and also get a statement from her doctor that she requires full-time assistance to stay out of a nursing home. You've been there three years, so may qualify under the caregiver exemption when it comes to the house.

The way states handle things can differ. From what I understand, some states will grant the house outright to the caregiving child, while other states grant a life estate. If you plan to sell the house, the life estate is pretty meaningless. The state will seek recovery on the house as soon as your move. I hope your state is one of the former ones.
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You need to see an attorney that specializes in Medicaid Planning. Is mom on Medicaid? They will not take the house from you as long as you are living there or have income from it, i.e. renting. Have you thought about roommates?

In general, Medicaid will allow a house to transfer to a family member caregiver that provided medically necessary care without penalty. Some states are different, you need to check. But the transfer does not make the debt and lein go away. It stays there until you die. If I were you I would figure out a way to remain in the house especially if it is paid off.
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Sorry, I re read and see that you feel you will need to sell, I think that is the sticking point isn't it? It would obviously be better for you to continue to live there if at all possible, after all there will be expenses no matter where you live. Explore what options are available that will help you remain in the house, I have heard others say that in some places property taxes can be reduced or forgiven for those with a disability.
Hopefully those with more knowledge will give you some good ideas.
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Is your lawyer experience in Medicaid as well as Trusts? Medicaid can be very complicated and a lawyer really needs to be a specialist in order to fully understand all the complications.
I have to admit all I know I have learned from reading on this site, but generally a person is able to live in their home as long as they are physically able. Medicaid doesn't take it out from under you, they place a lien on it and recoup the money they have given you after you die or when you sell the property.
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