How can we find financial assistance for my dad who is not eligible for Medicaid?

3 answers | Last updated: Sep 26, 2016
Dupontchick24 asked...

Good Evening.

My 72 year old father has been in the hospital for the last month and it has been determined that he should not go back home but to a care facility. We are working on getting everything straightened out, and the hospital says that he is going to be discharged soon.

That is where we are having trouble. He receives SS and a check from the VA. His income is about $1800.

He has a truck that he just traded in for in the last month, has made 1 payment, and owes about $27,000 on it. He has a trailer and land that he purchased in 2009, and has a mortgage on it for about $64,000.

So he pays out about $1000, for the payments on the trailer and the truck. We are going to court to get guardianship. And Medicaid says he makes too much to get help from them to pay for the nursing facility.

We want to just stop paying on the trailer and the truck. And he does have a lot of medical bills streaming from being in the hospital 3x in the last 3 months.

I have no idea what to do. The hospital social worker is not being much help, nursing homes around here are from $2100 on up. The doctor recommends a locked facility. Is there any more help out there I do not know about.

This whole thing is stressing us out, and we are at a loss about what to do.

Expert Answers

Barbara Steinberg is the CEO and founder of BLS Eldercare Financial Solutions, which specializes in helping families pay for long-term care for their loved ones. A registered financial gerontologist, she speaks regularly on the topic of paying for long-term care and is a financial expert for

First, there may be a way to get your father additional income. If he is collecting compensation from the VA as a result of a service connected disability, he may be able to get more money by applying for the VA non-service connected pension. With his long term care costs, he will be eligible for a pension of $1,644/mo. He can get whichever benefit is greater, not both. Next, you should try to sell the truck and trailer. The dealer may be willing to repurchase the truck. Take however much you are offered, as long as you can pay off the loan. If you stop making payments, the truck will be repossessed. Either way, you are rid of it. If the trailer is worth less than he owes on the mortgage, you can try a short sale. If you don't make any payments and can't sell it, it will be foreclosed. At this point, you don't have to be concerned about your father's credit rating. His creditors cannot come after you. Will your father be going to an assisted living facility or a nursing home? $2,100/mo. seems much too low for a nursing home. Whether he is eligible for Medicaid depends on the type of facility and the state he lives in. It is unusual for someone with $1,800/mo. in income not to be eligible for Medicaid in a facility. You should look for an elder care specialist who can help you navigate these issues.

Community Answers

3generations answered...

Hang in there - you will get through this. We went through similar problems with my Dad over the past year. Opening all the bills and trying to navigate where he should live and how to pay for it can seem overwhelming, I know. We moved Dad first to assisted-living, then to a nursing home, but had problems at both due to his dementia-related behaviors. We were just about to file for Medicaid when a social worker at the mental health hospital he was in at the time suggested applying for residence at a VA Center. We live in KY. I was pleasantly surprised to learn KY has three residential VA centers, including a beautiful one on rolling countryside hills about an hour from me (and even closer to my siblings). Because Dad is a veteran of WWII, the VA pays the difference between his social security monthly benefits and the full cost of care and living there. Dad has lived there since February - peacefully and well-cared for by the staff and wonderful volunteers from the community. Also, the VA Center allows Dad to keep up to $10,000 for funeral costs, plus $150/month personal spending allowance out of his $1600/month SS benefits. That is much less restrictive than medicaid. I don't know what state you are in, but since your father is a veteran, I strongly recommend you look into that route before medicaid. If you have residential VA centers in your state, call them and work with one of their social workers, rather than relying on a hospital social worker. You will get through this - just handle it one day at a time, one issue at a time. Good luck.

Delfinamanotas answered...

Hello... It sounds like you are a very caring child towards your parent. Make sure you take care of yourself too.. to keep a solid mental and emotional well-being while going through this. As I said before I can't offer medical advice as I haven't seen your dad's chart but the best thing you can do to care for him is communicate concerns to his dr. and nurse, and take care of yourself too. the net rental income would count toward his share of cost along with his ss. He would need to 'spend' the 25k. He could pay your brother in a care contract. Eventually, the home would be recovered against. Texas is very strict. If you would like, contact me and we can discuss more specific details.

Regards, Delfina

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