I’m applying for Medicaid, will my residence be exempt?
If you look at the rules online, or even if you talk to a caseworker, you will learn that Medicaid rules state that you can have an exempt residence. That is great news for the many homeowners looking to apply for benefits. They can own their residence and it’s not going to affect their eligibility for Medicaid. Unfortunately, there are a couple of very important details that they don’t tell you about the rule that makes this answer extremely misleading.
In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson, Southern Illinois Elder Law attorney, discusses what the Medicaid rules really are regarding your exempt residence and why you really need planning to protect your home.
Medicaid and Your “Exempt” Residence: What the State Doesn’t Want You to Know
Hi, I’m Wes Coulson and this is your Elder Law Minute. You know, if you apply for Medicaid, if you look at the rules online or even if you talk to a caseworker, they’re going to tell you that your residence is exempt. It sounds great. You can own your residence and it’s not going to affect your eligibility for Medicaid. Unfortunately, there are a couple of very important things that they don’t tell you that make that answer extremely misleading.
First, they don’t tell you that if you are single or widowed they are going to put a lien against that residence, so that if it’s sold during your lifetime they are going to take the money. And if it’s not sold during your lifetime, they are going to force the sale after you die to get the money. In either case to pay back whatever Medicaid benefits were paid to you.
The other thing that they don’t tell you is that you’re not going to have any way, once you’re on Medicaid, to pay the expenses of owning a home. In Illinois, you get to keep $30 a month of your income, in Missouri $45. And, if you’re paying real estate taxes, homeowner’s insurance, maintenance repairs and utilities, I think you already know well that $30 or $45 a month is just not going to cut that.
There’s a moral to the story and that is if you have a residence and you’re going to apply for Medicaid, you really need to do planning to protect it. That’s something we can help you with. Thanks so much.
For more information on Protecting Your Residence, visit these articles:
- How Can I Protect My Residence From Long-Term Care Costs?
- Think Twice Before Deeding Your Residence to Your Children
- What You Can and Can’t Keep With Medicaid: Second Residences and Rental Property
“Your Trusted Advisor on the Elder Care Journey”
Coulson Elder Law is dedicated to providing families in the St. Louis area with their Elder Law needs. Our practice areas include Asset Preservation Planning, Veterans Benefits, Medicaid Eligibility, Alzheimer’s Planning, Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning and more. We understand the financial challenges you may face as you and your loved ones grow older. At Coulson Elder Law, our clients’ well-being is our number one priority. For immediate help, call (877)995-6876 or Contact Us and we will get in touch as soon as possible.