Christina Lesher

 

Elder Law 101 By Christina Lesher

Though there are dozens of different Medicaid programs in the State of Texas, assistance specifically tailored to the needs of elderly and permanently disabled individuals is available
through a program called Medicaid for the Elderly and People with Disabilities (MEPD). This program is designed to help clients with the cost of care in a nursing facility or, under certain circumstances, home health aides in the client’s home.

Unlike Medicare, Medicaid is a means-tested program, so in addition to having a need for medical assistance, applicants must meet certain financial criteria. There is an income cap of $2,094 gross per month, but this can be overcome by utilizing a Qualified Income Trust (sometimes referred to as a “Miller Trust”). With regard to assets, single applicants can have up to $2,000 in countable resources. In situations where applicants are married and both spouses need care under the Medicaid program, the resource limit rises to $3,000. If an applicant is married but his or her spouse does not need care, the amount the couple can keep in assets will vary, and evaluation and advice from an elder law attorney is required.

To find an elder law attorney near you, visit www.naela.org.