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What Can We Do If the Spouse of a Medicaid Applicant Won’t Provide Financial Information?

  • February 6th, 2020
Q
My father-in-law is in a nursing home that costs $7,000 a month. We have spent through all of our savings and retirement funds to pay for the nursing home. I now want to apply for Medicaid for him. He receives $1,900 in monthly income, and he has very little money in a checking account (around $500) and no money in savings. I understand that a person who files for Medicaid needs to supply the spouse’s financial information as well. The problem is that my step mother-in-law will not reveal any of her financial information. She has her own Social Security and pension as well as other resources. During their 20-year marriage, their money was kept completely separate. How can we apply for Medicaid without her information? Can she be forced to add her information to the form? Can he apply by himself? 
A

It sounds like your father-in-law is a good candidate for “spousal refusal” or “just say no.” If your father assigns his legal right for support from his wife over to the state, under the Medicaid rules the state Medicaid agency should evaluate your father-in-law’s financial eligibility for coverage based on his assets and income alone. In theory, the state could then seek contribution from his wife, but this only rarely happens.
 
For more information about this strategy, go here: https://www.elderlawanswers.com/medicaid-spousal-refusal-just-say-no-12156
 
A local elder law attorney can tell you how this approach works in your state and help with the process. To find one near you, go here: https://www.elderlawanswers.com/elder-law-attorneys.

 

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Last Modified: 02/06/2020

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