Legal Question in Social Security Law in Virginia

A member of our family has been in nursing home for two years on medicaid.A family member left her quite a sum of money.Will her inheritance go to pay back medicaid or will she be allowed to keep the money and move out of the nursing home to a private home? Thank you for your help Hazel Joyce

Asked on 9/23/10, 5:17 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Michael E. Hendrickson Attorney & Counsellor at Law
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The inheritance could make this family member ineligible for current Medicaid payments until it is "spun down", as they say, either by paying the nursing home expenses for a while or purchasing allowable exemptions such as a funeral contract or burial plot. And, needless to say, the inheritance must be reported whenever she receives it.

However, if she chooses to leave the nursing home voluntarily, the Commonwealth apparently would not seek to apply this inheritance to recover past Medicaid payments paid in her behalf to the nursing home but could file a lien against any home which she owns which could be foreclosed after her death if she has no disabled spouse or child or minor child under age 21.

The Commonwealth could also seek to attach other assets in her estate after her demise in order to recover some of these aforesaid payments in accordance with the rules governing the Virginia Estate Recovery program.

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9/28/10, 7:26 pm

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