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  • Your home is exempt for long term care benefits, but planning needs to be done on sale.

 

Nursing home Medicaid is a benefit provided to those who have a medical need for a nursing home.  Similarly, VA Pension provides monthly cash payments to veterans and their surviving spouses to pay for the cost of long term care.  More information on these programs can be found under the practice areas tab on this website.  Both programs have an asset limits that an applicant must meet.  There are assets that are exempt under both programs.

The applicant’s residence is exempt and does not count towards the asset limit for either VA  Pension or nursing home Medicaid.  For VA Pension, the value of the applicant’s residence is entirely exempt regardless of its value.  Under Georgia Medicaid regulations, the residence of a Medicaid applicant is exempt from being counted for Medicaid  purposes up to the first $552,000 in equity.

While the home is exempt for both VA Pension and nursing home Medicaid, care must be taken on the sale of a home.  When a Medicaid recipient sells a home, they have three months to reinvest the money into another home, or the proceeds will be considered to be a countable asset, and can jeopardize Medicaid qualification.  When someone is receiving VA Pension and sells their residence, the sell can exclude them from receiving VA Pension for 12 months or longer.

 

As there are complex issues around the sale of a home for someone on benefits for long term care, it is strongly recommended that the services of an experienced elder lawyer be obtained before any sale.  An elder law attorney can ensure that benefits are not interrupted and that taxes are minimized.