Ask Thomas Mitchell: How Do I Protect Myself from Nursing Homes Taking all My Money?


Video Summary


Good afternoon! My name is Tom Mitchell. I’m one of the partners at Waller

& Mitchell. We're located in beautiful downtown New Port Richey, and I’m an

Elder law attorney.


One of the things that I frequently get asked to do is to help people who have a senior family member who has declined in either mental or physical health and has to go into a nursing home, and the family wants to know, is there any way we can preserve some or as much of their assets as we can and still have them go into the nursing home and be taken care of properly?


And, in fact, there is a Federal/State program that provides the nursing home care for individuals who are indigent. It’s called Medicaid, the Institutional Care Program.


Being a welfare-style program, it does have asset and income limitations. For a single person the asset limit is $2,000.00.  And for a married couple the asset limit is $120,000.00.  For the income limit for a single person who is in a nursing home it’s approximately $2,250.00. For the individual in a married situation and the individual is living at home, they can have as much income as they want.


And so there are some assets that are not counted. The house is not counted. A car is not counted. Retirement accounts are not counted. So there are some things that we can do, however, to help transfer the other assets that are accounted against Medicaid eligibility.


The only thing that you can’t do is you can’t give it away. If you give the money to the kids or the grand-kids then the person going in the nursing home will be disqualified for Medicaid eligibility for a period of time that is related directly to the amount of money that was given away.


So if you want to know how to do any of these things, go ahead and give us a call. I’m Tom Mitchell at Waller & Mitchell. We're at 5332 Main Street in New Port Richey.