Will being deeded my father's house affect my Medicaid and SSI Disability?

6 answers | Last updated: Oct 31, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

I'm on Medicaid and will soon start receiving SSI Disability. My father wants to put the house in my name fully. How would this change my benefits and more important can either Medicaid or Medicare take my house before I die? If not, could I sell the home in future for another? P.S. They can have it when I'm done with it. That would be the least I could do to give back for all the help.

Expert Answers

The key to whether owning your house will affect your Medicaid or SSI eligibility is whether you live in the house. Both Medicaid medical coverage and Supplemental Security Insurance -- SSI eligibility depend on having very low income and assets. But if you live in a house you own, the house will NOT count as an asset when Medicaid and SSI decide on your eligibility. So, owning the house will not affect either your eligibility for Medicaid or SSI, or the amount of your benefits, as long as you live in it.

Also, neither Medicare nor SSI ever have a claim on your house or any other property, whether you live in it or not. Medicaid is different, but still protects you as long as you're alive. Medicaid might place a lien on the property to recover the cost of long-term care you might receive in a nursing home, if you ever enter one and Medicaid pays for it. But this only applies to long-term care, not to regular Medicaid medical coverage. And Medicaid cannot force the sale of the house. It merely places a claim -- in the form of a lien -- against the house to collect from its value after you die for the amounts it has spent on your nursing home care.

If you ever sell the house, you have to be careful that any money you receive from the sale does not disqualify you from Medicaid and SSI. If you sell the house and keep any of the money from the sale, that money would be considered by SSI and Medicaid as part of your assets, and could disqualify you as long as your total assets are above Medicaid and SSI eligibility levels. If you plan on selling the house and buying a different house to live in, you have to be careful not to have any delay between ownership and occupancy of the two houses. If there's a period of time when you have cash from the sale of one house before buying another one, you might become ineligible for Medicaid and SSI until you use the money to buy then next house and move into it. Also, if the house you buy costs less than the amount you receive for your former house, the amount of money you keep becomes an asset and could affect your eligibility.

Community Answers

Masha answered...

My dad and mom have a house and they also have benefits such as, medicare and SSI. My dad wants to sign me in the Title as a main person and live in this house and pay me rent because he can't pay all his mortgage alone. Do you have any suggestions how to do that in proper order. Will they lose their benefits? Thanks

Benefits counselor answered...

I would suggest that you be certain you're referring to the correct names of benefits. Medicaid is NOT the same as Medicare, but it looks like these are being used interchangeably. Medicare is a benefit eligible to people on Social Security Retirement Benefits, Survivor Benefits, or Disability Insurance Benefits (Social Security Disability Insurance, Disabled Widowers Benefits, or Childhood Disability Benefits). These are systems that require that YOU or an eligible PARENT or SPOUSE have paid into the system and have made you eligible. Medicaid is a needs-based benefit, which is certainly impacted by resources/assets which you have. The home you live in is generally not counted, but if you make a sale on a home, you generally have 9-months to spend any of that income on a new home.

As eluded above, SSI, which is actually Supplemental Security Income, is a disability benefit which is DIFFERENT from SSDI/CDB/DWB (Social Security Disability Insurance, Childhood DIsability Benefit, Disabled Widower Benefit) Owning/receiving a home has NO IMPACT on the SSDI/CDB/DWB benefits. They are not needs-based. They are based on having a disability and having paid into the system. SSI is needs-based, and resources are impacted by a home in the same way Medicaid is impacted.

A fellow caregiver answered...

I want to put my mom on a mortgage note as secondary for a Multi family. My dad receives Medicaid and Medicare. If she puts her name on mortgage note would my dad lose his Medicaid/Medicare

Chercer answered...

Myself and four siblings will inherit my mothers home. All siblings have SSI and or Medi-cal or Medicaid. Two live in convalesant homes. Will either agency place a lien on my mothers home for repayment of medi-cal or SSI or medicade? Will siblings looae any of their benefits? Whata the best course of action to keep house in family?

Hooman answered...

My parent own a house in another country that my disabled brother is living there. Are they qualified for SSI if they meet the rest of criteria as both are disabled now