Special Needs Trust: When You Or Your Loved One Needs Long-Term Nursing Home Care

20 October 2015
 Categories: , Blog


Nursing home care is expensive. While your stay in a nursing home is generally covered by your insurance company if your stay is for rehabilitation, when your care becomes custodial care this changes. If you or your loved one are on Medicare, your stay will be covered for ninety days or until your goal is no longer rehabilitation, whichever comes first. If you have assets and you need long-term nursing home care, it's time to set up a special needs trust to protect what you have worked hard to build over your lifetime.

The Cost of Nursing Home Care

Many people believe that if they need nursing home care, it is automatically covered by their insurance company. This is a fact that is simply not true. Nursing home care costs an average of $50,000 a year, and you will be expected to pay for your care if you have become a long-term resident of the facility. The amount of money you pay for your monthly care will depend on whether you have a private room, the facility itself, and any number of other factors.

The Special Needs Trust

How the special needs trust can help you is simple. You place your assets in a special needs trust, and this money is used for supplemental care that you may need. The supplemental care can include just about anything that makes your life more comfortable. The special needs trust is designed to protect your assets so that you can apply for Medicaid insurance. If you find yourself suddenly needing long-term care, the special needs trust is the best way to ensure you will have the money you need in the future. The money you have in your special needs trust is not counted as an asset, and you do not have to use this money to pay for your nursing home care costs.

Paying for Your Stay in a Nursing Home

Some people choose to pay for their nursing home stay until their funds have been depleted, because they don't know about the special needs trust. By putting all assets into a trust, it's possible to qualify for Medicaid right away instead of spending down the assets. Medicaid takes most of your social security payments if you receive them, leaving you with approximately $58 a month to be used on your personal needs. With a special needs trust in place, the money in the trust is used to purchase anything you want or need during your stay in the nursing home. For further assistance, contact a local elder law attorney, such as James M Snow.