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Does the healthy spouse end up living in poverty because the other spouse needs to qualify for Medicaid by spending down all their assets? Can my mom keep 1/2 the assets? She only gets $650 a month social security and cannot live on that if their assets are spent.

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Hugemom, I knew YOU knew! Didn't want the OP to be confused!

So, a Miller Trust is also called a pooled income trust. You can Google it. I'm also told Gabriel Heiser's book is a useful tool.
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I understand, Barb. It's coming to the time when I will have to find a lawyer and learn about a Miller Trust and what it involves. And "Medicare" was a typo. I meant Medicaid. Thanks.
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Its Medicaid, not Medicare you want to contact.

And Hugemom, if you are over the income limit, you have a lawyer draw up a Miller Trust.
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We live in Ohio and I'm not sure if it's the same where you live, but when we applied for Medicaid for Hubby, they would have considered me as the "Community Spouse" . My financial needs in order for me to stay in our home and pay bills would have been taken into consideration. Believe me, I would need every cent of what both of us get from Social Security! Although we were denied because we were $400 over the income limit for benefits, I found the Medicaid people I dealt with were helpful and respectful. For help figuring out your Mom's specific circumstances, don't be afraid to call Medicare and ask them for help. If there is a facility,like a nursing home involved, Their financial staff can also be of great help.
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You need to get your mom and her POA to to a certified Eldercare attorney who understands Medicaid her her state.

Your mom is the "community spouse" and is entitled to keep assets to keep her afloat. But it's a complicated process, not DIY. It is a legitimate "spend down" to pay legal fees.
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