Will we lose everything if my spouse needs nursing home Medicaid?

If your spouse needs nursing home care, he or she may be eligible for assistance through Georgia’s nursing home Medicaid program. To qualify for this program, your spouse must meet certain strict income and asset limits.

However, this does not mean that you will need to give up your home or the income you need to maintain your own living expenses. If you do not need nursing home care, but your spouse does, Medicaid may allow you to keep many assets and access essential monthly income.

How does my income affect my spouse’s Medicaid eligibility?

Any income that your spouse receives may count toward Medicaid’s eligibility cap, including employment earnings, pension payments, Social Security Income and stock dividends. However, income that you earn in your own name does not count toward your spouse’s eligibility limit.

What if my own income is not enough to live on?

If you do not earn enough to support yourself, Medicaid may also entitle you to a portion of your spouse’s income through a Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance. This allowance enables your spouse to transfer a limited amount of income to you each month.

What about the Medicaid limit on assets?

As of 2021, if only one spouse applies for nursing home Medicaid, the program caps the applying spouses’ assets at $2,000 and the non-applying spouses’ assets at $130,380. Property that counts toward this limit may include cash, savings and checking accounts, stocks, bonds and other investments, including real estate.

However, many types of assets are exempt. If you plan to continue living in your home, your equity may not count toward Medicaid’s eligibility limit. Other exempt items may include a vehicle, household furnishings, personal belongings and burial accounts.

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Kevin Tharpe

With 25 years of experience, Kevin understands how estate planning, special needs planning, and government benefits programs work together. This is a crucial element of a thorough plan. He explains your eligibility for benefits programs and ensures that you do not make costly mistakes that may disqualify you or deplete your assets.

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