For an adult child, one of the most difficult things to accept is that their father can no longer safely care for himself. If you find yourself facing that reality, you probably don’t like the idea of putting your father in a long-term care facility. At the same time, the harsh reality may be that you cannot financially afford to care for your father full-time if you have your own family to support. The Medicaid lawyers at German Law Group explain how a North Dakota Medicaid Waiver program may allow your father to pay you to care for him.
What Is a Medicaid Waiver?
“Medicaid Waivers,” which are also called Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waivers or Waiver Funded Services are programs that provide additional services to specific groups of individuals, limit services to specific geographic areas of the state, and provide medical coverage to individuals who may not otherwise be eligible under traditional Medicaid rules. Unlike the traditional Medicaid program, services or benefits provided through a waiver are only good for a designated period of time. They are often renewed, but there is no guarantee that a waiver will be renewed. These waiver programs allow people who would otherwise receive care in a long-term care (LTC) facility to receive that care in the community through an assisted living facility, a community based care program, or even by family caregivers.
The North Dakota Medicaid Waiver for Home and Community Based Services
This Medicaid Waiver for Home and Community Based Services (often referred to as the “Aged and Disabled Waiver”) is designed specifically to help elderly and disabled North Dakota residents remain living in their homes, or in the community, or to return to living in these locations after placement in a nursing home. By allowing families to care for their elderly loved ones, the state saves money and families are much happier. To be eligible, an applicant must, at a minimum, require nursing home level care, but be willing and able to receive that care outside of a nursing home. In addition to personal care at home, in adult day care, in adult foster care, or in memory care facilities (for those with Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias), this program will cover minor home modifications for senior safety and improved access, as well as Personal Emergency Response Services to help monitor participants when no family members can be present.
The best part about this Medicaid waiver program is that participants can choose their own care providers. As an adult child, you can be hired as your father’s caregiver. Moreover, North Dakota is one of just a handful of states that allow spouses to be paid as caregivers. Your father, however, does not decide how much to pay you. Caregivers are usually paid between 50 percent and 75 percent of the going rate for home care in the state. As of 2019, it is estimated that personal caregivers receive an hourly rate of $15.75 to $20.75. simply call it the.
Is Your Father Eligible?
Applicants under 65 years of age must be designated as disabled by Social Security. Applicants who are 65 and older must require nursing home level care, but need not be fully disabled. The Aged and Disabled Waiver is a Medicaid program and therefore applicants must be financially eligible to receive Medicaid, which means the applicant must meet the income an asset requirements. As of 2019, unmarried, widowed, or otherwise single applicants are limited to $864 in income per month. Married couples with both spouses as applicants can have up to $1,170 per month. If the individual is married and his or her spouse is not seeking Medicaid assistance, the non-applicant spouse (called the Community Spouse) may be entitled to part, or even all, of his or her spouse’s income. In 2019, up to $3,160.50 of the applicant’s monthly income may go to the non-applicant spouse. This is referred to as the Maximum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance. A single applicant is permitted up to $3,000 in countable assets. Married applicants, with both spouses applying, can retain up to $6,000 in resources. The spouse of a married applicant, who is not also applying for Medicaid benefits (a Community Spouse) can hold up to $126,420 of joint assets. This is called the Community Spouse Resource Allowance. Keep in mind, however, that not all assets are considered “countable” resources. Because the income and asset guidelines are complex, and subject to change, you should always consult with a Medicaid planning lawyer before applying for any of the Medicaid programs.
Contact Medicaid Lawyers
Please join us for an upcoming FREE seminar. If you have additional questions or concerns about paying a family caregiver on Medicaid, contact the Medicaid lawyers at German Law Group by calling 701-738-0060 to schedule an appointment.