Moving into a nursing home can place great strain on your finances. This care can often cost more than $90,000 a year, and few people have enough to pay in cash. One alternative is to seek Medicaid benefits. However, federal and state laws place strict limits on the assets and monthly income that you can hold while still qualifying for help.
A seasoned lawyer at Nelson Elder Care Law can help you improve your eligibility for nursing home Medicaid in Woodstock. A Medicaid attorney can explain the financial limits on this program, determine your current income and asset status, and create legal plans that help improve your chances of receiving the benefits you need.
Medicaid is a federally funded program that can provide payments directly to nursing homes on behalf of residents. However, the most important thing to remember is that Medicaid is a needs-based program. This means that benefits will only go to those who are unable to pay for the care themselves.
Federal and state laws jointly determine eligibility. Medicaid considers assets such as real estate to be potential sources of payment. This means that Medicaid may force you to sell this property and use the proceeds to pay for nursing home care before issuing benefits. This even applies to long-term assets like a family home.
State law also places an upper limit on the amount of monthly income prospective candidates can receive. As of 2022, this limit is $3,435. In simple terms, someone receiving more cannot qualify for Medicaid assistance. Even so, this income is unlikely to be sufficient to pay for nursing home care or your other needs. As a result, it is essential to evaluate legal options that could help to improve your nursing home Medicaid eligibility in Woodstock.
A variety of legal options exist that could help to improve a senior’s eligibility for Medicaid benefits. The first helps shield assets from a potential sale to pay for nursing home care. Placing assets like a family home into a Medicaid Trust means that, for valuation purposes, they are no longer your asset. This means that Medicaid cannot consider this asset when determining your eligibility for nursing home care in Woodstock. Even so, there are limits to these trusts since Section 1917(c)(1)(B)(i) of the Social Security Act says that Medicaid will use a five-year lookback period when making their evaluation. The sooner you consider this option, the better.
Another choice is to create a Qualified Income Trust. This can be helpful when your monthly income exceeds state limits. Here, the excess value goes into a trust that names the nursing home as a beneficiary. This functions as a way to lower income below the threshold while still using excess value to pay for care.
Receiving Medicaid benefits can make a tremendous difference to your future. They can also help you retain your monthly income while still receiving the care you need. A variety of legal options exist that could help improve your eligibility for nursing home Medicaid in Woodstock. These can include qualified income trusts and Medicaid trusts.
To learn more about your options, get in touch with our team at Nelson Elder Care Law today. Your initial consultation is free.
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