My father is a veteran and needs nursing home care soon, should he sign up for Medicaid?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 24, 2016
Ruby may asked...

My father has terminal cancer and will require nursing home care. His monthly income along with my stepmom is 2100. He does not have medicare as he is a vet and always used their services. I know that any nursing home will require that his social security check to pay for care in their facility but we are worried about the extra cost if that does not cover the fees.Do we need to get him signed up for medicade and if so how long does that take.

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

Even though your father gets his medical care through the VA, he probably is enrolled in Medicare as well. Most seniors are. Medicare does not pay for long term care, but Medicaid does. Betweeen Medicare and Medicaid, all of your father's room and board and medical expenses will be taken care of. He will be left with a small amount from his social security for personal needs. The amount depends on which state he lives in. You should apply for Medicaid as soon as possible. How long it takes depends on the county that is doing the processing. You should plan on at least one month and, more likely, several months.