Contrary to popular belief, in many states, an elderly person entering a skilled nursing facility does not need to “spend-down” all assets in order to qualify for Medicaid benefits. Instead, the “spend-down” monies can be placed into a pooled special needs trust, such as Alabama Family Trust, and the elderly person can begin receiving Medicaid benefits if otherwise eligible. This can be a tremendous asset to the spouse that remains at home or to children that are trying to provide for the additional things needed by a parent in a nursing home because the trust funds can be used to purchase things such as diapers, pajamas and clothing, a private room, caregivers if needed in the nursing home, and many other things that the elderly person may need while Medicaid begins paying for the monthly room and board at the facility. More information can be read at www.alabamafamilytrust.com
Note: disabled individuals over the age of 65, must use a pooled special needs trust such as Alabama Family Trust (check your state law). Both first-party trusts and third-party trusts may be created for the elderly person. Pooled trusts are addressed in 42. U.S.C. § 1396p(d)(4)(c).
AFT does not provide legal advice. You should consult with an attorney that is knowledgeable about special needs trusts.