Help for a Married Couple with One in a Nursing Home or Needing Caregivers
There is a Federal provision referred to as the Spousal Impoverishment Protection Act that states that the Community spouse, that’s the spouse at home, cannot be impoverished because of the expenses of the Nursing Home spouse. Under this Act, the community spouse can keep their Home as long as the equity value doesn’t exceed certain limits.
Currently, that value is a little over $500,000, it changes each year. They can keep one car of any value and one half of their cash asset, up to a certain limit, currently, that is a little over $120,000. The balance of those assets is to be spent down before the Nursing Home spouse qualifies for any financial assistance. There are various things that those assets may be properly spent down on. You can’t give any of this money away or it creates a serious problem. As an example, if a couple has $200,000 in countable assets then they would have to spend down about $80,000 before the Nursing Home person would qualify for financial assistance. If they had $300,000 then they would need to spend down $180,000. That is a lot of money to lose, especially if you really don’t have to lose it.
The truth is, you don’t have to lose it. The rules provide that certain financial instruments may be used when properly set up under State guidelines, that those Over Resource assets, may be moved over to the community Spouse over time. This process has always been approved as long as the proper guidelines are followed. Once this process is properly completed we can apply for financial assistance for the Nursing Home spouse and get it approved for benefits to start the following month. The community spouse doesn’t lose any of their income to help pay for the Nursing Home spouse’s expenses. In fact, many times the community spouse can keep some of the Nursing Home spouse’s monthly income. On occasions, we have seen them get to keep all the Nursing Home spouse’s income.
We have been helping families with this process for nearly 18 years and it always works. If you are facing this type of financial issue, give us a call and come in for a FREE consultation. We will look at your situation and show you how it would work in your situation. We have found that each family dynamics vary. That is why we need to sit down and carefully look at each situation to know how it is best done to meet that family’s need.