Transferring House to Child with a Disability

 In Long-Term Care Planning, Special Needs Planning

Question:

My mother is receiving Medicaid now and wants to transfer her home to her son who is disabled, under 65 years old and has income of less than $2,000. Can she do this even if she is already in the Medicaid program?

Answer:

Yes, as long as your brother is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Income (SSDI). There is no Medicaid penalty for transferring property to a disabled child. Receipt of SSI or SSDI establishes disability. If your brother is not receiving either benefit, your state may have another avenue for proving disability.

That answers your immediate question, but I cannot say whether it makes sense for this transfer to happen in terms of your mother’s needs, your brother’s ability to manage the house, or the tax implications of the transfer. The use of a trust or life estate may or may not make more sense. A local elder law or special needs planning attorney can help you consider this issues and the possible alternatives.

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