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My dad's dementia will require he go into a nursing home soon. Will my mom have to live in poverty if Medicaid requires all their assets be spent down to pay for his care? How is the healthy spouse supposed to live?

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Medicare allow the assets to be divided. In most states the community spouse (the one NOT going into a facility) to keep half the assets up to about $100,000. It depends on the state.

Then...the spcommunity source keeps all of their own income (social security, pension, etc). If that is not enough for community spouse tomlive on...states will allow community spouse to get up to $2000 monthly from income sources of the spouse going into a facility.

It really isn't much..but if your Mom already has the home..it may be enough to keep up with monthly expenses.
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Did they consult with an eldercare attorney who is knowledgeable about Medicaid? There are hardship provisions, but she needs professional advice NOW.
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There is an allowance for the remaining spouse - but in my dad and stepmom's case it was not enough for her to pay the taxes, upkeep, etc on their large house and 50 acres of woods on a lake, so they sold with much of the proceeds (not all, i think she got to keep 120k) going to the nursing home to pay for my dad's care
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As I understand it, there are allowances for the spouse. I am bumping this up as there are others here who know the details. A consultation with an elder attorney with medicaid expertise would be good for you. Often the first visit is free.
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