New Jersey Medicaid Allows Father in Nursing Home to Keep Only $35 per Month…Yes You Read This Correctly

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold, NJ Medicaid Attorney

A friend of mine was inquiring about NJ Medicaid benefits for his father. He’s 84 and will need a nursing home soon, unfortunately. He’s shared a house with Dad for three years following Mom’s death. There is a mortgage, and both son and dad are on the deed. My friend says Dad contributes $1,200 per month from his $1,800 Social Security income. If he gets Medicaid, can he (dad) continue to contribute the mortgage money, or will the nursing home take it?

My answer to him assumes that his father was eligible financially and in all other respects for NJ Medicaid. If this is the case and he qualifies for benefits, he will be required to give all his monthly income to the nursing home to cover the cost of care, except for $35 that he may keep as a personal needs allowance. $35 is “personal needs allowance” and can be used to pay for toiletries, haircuts, etc. Or, he could give it to his son toward the mortgage, but that won’t help much.

My friend’s question also raised a red flag for me that you as a reader need to consider; If you are planning on selling a house, the sale proceeds may be considered your father’s asset and count against him when he applies for Medicaid. My friend’s dad really needs to meet with me to fully review his situation and evaluate the best alternatives.

To discuss your NJ Medicaid matter, please contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or email him at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com.  Please ask us about our video conferencing consultations if you are unable to come to our office.