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Does the Spouse of an Senior in a Nursing Home Lose Out on Pension?

by David Cutner, Elder Law Expert
October 30, 2015

Question: My father is very ill and may have to be admitted to a nursing home. Will my mother lose out on the pension and social security income?

Answer: I’m assuming from your question that your father has, or is applying for, Medicaid. As a “community spouse,” your mother is entitled to keep up to $2,980.50 of her and your father’s monthly income.  If her own income exceeds that amount, she will be required by Medicaid to contribute 25% of her “excess” income, and your father’s income would go to the nursing home. If her monthly income is below $2,980.50, then she is entitled to so much of your father’s monthly income as would bring her up to $2,980.50, and the balance of your father’s income would go to the nursing home. In any case, your father is entitled to keep $50 per month as a personal needs allowance. The amount of income your mother is entitled to keep as a community spouse will likely increase every year by a small amount.

David Cutner is one of the founders of Lamson & Cutner, P.C., a preeminent Elder Law firm in New York City and Westchester County. Mr. Cutner is known as an experienced and compassionate advocate for the elderly and disabled. Personal attention to the financial and health care needs of each client, and accurate, individualized advice, are hallmarks of the firm. Mr. Cutner helps clients achieve their goals in a cost-effective way.

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