Applying for Medical Assistance (Medicaid)? Understand the Rules Governing the Homestead

Applying for Medical Assistance Medicaid? Understand the Rules Governing the Homestead by Vivian GarrasteguiThere are very specific rules governing the definition of the homestead with regard to applying and qualifying for Medical Assistance (Medicaid).

For Medical Assistance (Medicaid), the homestead includes the home, land, and integral parts such as garages and outbuildings. The homestead may be a condominium, cooperative apartment, or mobile home. Vacation homes, summer homes, or cabins are not considered to be homesteads.

If you retain title to your home, you would be eligible for Medicaid and home care services if the equity in the home is less than $840,000.00.  

It is also important to note that if the primary residence remains in the applicant’s name, you run the risk of a Medicaid lien being placed on the property or a claim against the estate. The rules are very complex for liens and claims.  

If you are considering transferring the title, the exempt transfers include:

1. Transfer of the home to a spouse;

2. Transfer of the home to a disabled or blind child (must consider the child’s benefit in these cases);

3. Transfer of the home to a sibling who has resided in the home and has an equity interest in the home for one year prior to institutionalization; or

4. Transfer of the home to an adult caregiver-child who resides in the home for at least two years prior to institutionalization (“caretaker child” exception).  

An elder law attorney will help you analyze your options so that you can make the best decision for your family and your needs. Please contact us with any questions.

Vivian Garrastegui bg

Vivian Garrastegui, Esq.

135 Pinelawn Road
Suite 110 South
Melville, NY 11747
(P) 631-756-6006

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