What is involved if my Mom (surviving spouse) goes from her home...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by MJ, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. MJ

    MJ 85 year old mother is surviving spouse of veteran

    into a nursing home?
    Do I notify the VA? If so, how is that done?
    My Mom gets A&A (widow of veteran), she currently is at home with hired caretakers but the time is here to be thinking about a nursing home as she is requiring more and more care.

    Can she continue to get her benefit if she goes into a nursing home? She cannot pay the price of a nursing home so I guess medicare or medicaid picks this up?

    The only asset she has is her house does this asset have to be depleted before she can get Medicaid?

    I know nothing about how to handle all this.
    Thanks for any input.
  2. Max

    Max Hero Member

    Hi MJ,

    From a VA standpoint, there are two things you need to have her do:

    1. Report the change in her care expenses. This can be done by submitting a VA Form 0779 with a letter explaining the situation. Be sure to include the nursing home's address and phone number.

    2. When she moves, her home will then be considered net worth for VA purposes. She should submit a statement (this can be done on VA form 21-4138) explaining the value of the home after any liens and loans against it. The net worth may or may not be a factor, but it is important to report it up front so that everyone is on the same page.
  3. AngelaManz

    AngelaManz Jr. Member

    Max gave you what you need for VA, so let me fill the Medicaid gap. Mom may or may not need to go through her assets to go on Medicaid. In Virginia for example, you can use the "good faith effort to sell", which allows for Medicaid eligibility without actually having the home sold. In NC, many times an intent to return home form can be used and the home is protected while Mom is on Medicaid, as long as she intends to attempt to return home one day. Every state is different so I would strongly suggest that you speak with an elder law attorney before proceeding. Making Medicaid mistakes can be very costly, especially if you are spending down unnecessarily.
  4. MJ

    MJ 85 year old mother is surviving spouse of veteran

    Wow.. great advice from both angles! Thanks so much!
  5. magnumpi28

    magnumpi28 Jr. Member

    Here is something to consider...

    Stay on A&A, move your mom into a nice assisted living center that has the capabilities to give the care your mom needs, sell the home.

    Use the proceeds from the sell of the home to pay the difference between what A&A pays and what income your mom has to pay the assisted living center.

    This may help keep your mom out of a nursing home for a long time.

    Remember, medicaid in most cases will want the house anyhow when your mom passes away so why not sell it yourself and use the money for your mom's care. Another possibility, Medicaid would probably tell you to sell the house and pay for a nursing home yourself until your asset's gets below about 2,000 dollars THEN they would start paying for care. Medicaid is a lot stricter on assetts than A and A. Medicaid is a 2,000 dollar asset limit and A and A is a 80,000 asset limit(Generally speaking, a few items are not considered asset's)
    The chances of you keeping the house if you go on medicaid would be very slim so sell it and use it for your moms care in assisted living center would be a better option in my humble opinion.

    Its like a preacher said once in church who had to put his mom in a nursing home, "Even the best nursing home is a bad place to be."

    Talk to an attorney, Just one of many things you may want to consider. While i know sometimes a nursing home is neccessary, a nursing home would be my last option.

    PS. If the sell of the home kicks your mom of A & A it would only be briefly because it wont take long in a assisted living center to spend the money to get back below 80,000. Then you have 1156 a month going to the assisted living center and all your moms income going to the center each month and use some of the 80,000 each month to to pay the rest of the monthly charge.
  6. Max

    Max Hero Member

    If she does move out, it is best to move in January. VA terminates pension awards for increased net worth the first of the year after the increase in net worth (i.e. she moves out in January, 2010, the award would terminate January 1, 2011). This would allow her to have an entire year to use the VA benefit and her net worth for her care. Also, if the net worth reduces over the course of the year to the point in which she would be eligible again, VA would not terminate the award.


    Net worth on December 31, 2010 = $4000.00
    Moves out of home on January 1, 2011
    Net worth on January 1, 2011 = $104,000.00 (cash plus $100,000 realestate)
    She spends down $3,000/month
    Net worth on December 31, 2011 = $68,000
    Because her net worth was below the necessary threshold at the end of the year, she would be eligible.

    I'm not saying this is true in every case as there are countless situations in which this would not apply. HOWEVER, this is a very non-shady way to use the law to your advantage.
  7. AngelaManz

    AngelaManz Jr. Member

    If she can't stay in assisted living and must go to nursing, you would benefit from seeing an elder law attorney. Medicaid estate recovery is still very limited and many times the home can be preserved. Also, Medicaid generally does not require the sale of the home before paying benefits. They may require that the home be listed for sale or that other avenues be explored, but having a home does not mean that Medicaid won't pay. That is one of the biggest Medicaid myths and again I would recommend speaking with an attorney who can guide you through the process and help you make the best decisions for mom.

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