We often see clients in our office who have made drastic decisions in times of crisis as a result of inaccurate information. The following debunks several asset protection myths so that you can make informed choices.
One of the biggest myths that we hear is that you must be poor in order to qualify for Medicaid. Most people do not realize that Medicaid consists of several programs– Medicaid at home is the biggest program (83%) and nursing facility Medicaid is the most important to seniors. In order to qualify for Medicaid at home, you must have limited income and assets. Nursing facility Medicaid, however, is specifically designed to provide governmental assistance for middle class seniors who require nursing facility care. The rules for this program are complicated, so it is important to see an experienced Elder Law attorney to help you understand them. Nursing facility Medicaid allows you to receive assistance and keep your assets. Generally speaking, it is easier to qualify for assistance if you are married. You may have to change how you hold your assets, but your net worth will usually stay the same with professional planning.
The second biggest myth that we hear is that if you are poor, you will qualify for governmental assistance. Unfortunately, most families fall through the cracks and are unable to qualify for Medicaid at home or the North Carolina program known as Special Assistance. Special Assistance is available for seniors needing assisted living facility care. Both require you to meet an income test in order to qualify. All seniors receive Social Security, which is considered income. If your income is over the cap, then you will not qualify for help. This is true regardless of the limited nature of your assets.
Don’t take matters into your own hands – if you or a loved one are in crisis and think that you may be eligible for nursing facility Medicaid or Special Assistance, see an experienced Elder Law attorney today. Call W.G. Alexander & Associates to learn more about Medicaid and other programs that may help pay for long term care. If you are in crisis, you should seek assistance from us immediately or attend our free seminars on Medicaid through our website at www.wgalaw.com or call us at (919) 256-7000.