My husband has Parkinson's and gets social security. I do not work and am worried about his care. What will I live on if facility takes his check?

3 answers | Last updated: Sep 18, 2016
Mcmom1084 asked...

my husband has parkenson's disease and I tryng to take care of him butit is getting hard to do. if I put him in a nursing home and I depend on his ss check to live and pay bills what do I live on if they take his check he has medicare and medicaid with spenddown of $526 a month help please thank you

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

Within the Medicaid system, there are protections for the "community spouse", you. If your husband goes to a nursing home on Medicaid, his income less a personal needs allowance is usually paid to the facility. However, the community spouse is entitled to a "Minimum Monthly Needs Allowance". Each state sets the minimum income that the community spouse can keep. For example, the minimum for all states in 2012 is $1,839./month. As an example, if your husband's income is $2,000/month and your income is $1,000/month, Medicaid will let you keep $839/month of your husband's income to bring you up to the minimum. If you have significant housing expenses, Medicaid may let you keep more income, up to the state maximum or $2,841/month. So less of your husband's income goes to the facility.

I'm not sure what you mean by spenddown of $526/month. Can you elaborate on this?

Community Answers

Mcmom1084 answered...

thank you for responing. the spenddown is what we have to spend before medicaid pays anything. he has medicare also I do not work taking care of him and mother. He doesn't do alot becasue of imbalance. dr said he needs full time assistance.

Barbara steinberg answered...

The $526/month has to do with home care. You may be better off financially if your husband moves into a nursing home. Did you understand my explanation of the Minimum Monthly Needs Allowance?