Out With The Old
Everyday someone will tell me that they were advised that their loved one cannot apply for Long-Term Care Medicaid because they have too many assets or too much income. This is simply not true. Please take a moment and cleanse your mind of everything anyone except an Elder Law Attorney has told you about Long-Term Care Medicaid. Replace it with the following truth:
Long-Term Care Medicaid is a government benefit for the disabled, not the indigent. Disabled is defined as the applicant needs assistance with at least one activity of daily living. This is a medical requirement that is a mandatory prerequisite for qualifying for Long-Term Care Medicaid. If there is no medical need in place, then qualification for Long-Term Care Medicaid is not possible.
If the medical requirement is met, then, yes, there are limitations on assets and income. An individual applicant can have no more than $2,000 in assets and a married applicant can have no more than $148,620 in assets. Assets above these limits disqualify the applicant financially for Long-Term Care Medicaid. The general rule is that the applicant must spend down all excess assets to the proscribed limit in order to qualify financially. The rule anticipates that the applicant will purchase goods and services (consume the assets) to reach the required limit, and then apply for Long-Term Care Medicaid.
In With The New
There are exceptions to the general rule that allow an individual applicant to protect approximately 50% of the excess assets. A married couple is allowed to protect essentially 100% of the excess assets. To take advantage of these exceptions, it is necessary to apply for Long-Term Care Medicaid and have the application approved. The application should be filed when the medical need for care is first established. This is when the applicant still has all of their assets. Don’t wait to apply until most of the assets are gone. There will be very little left to protect at that point.
Call us. We can help.