If My Husband Enters a Nursing Home, Can I Keep Some of His Income to Meet My Own Expenses?

Q: My husband suffers from dementia. He is currently on Medicaid and Medicare and receives $1,800 a month in disability payments. I retired at 62 to take care of him and receive $1,049 a month. He is now in Stage 3 renal failure and will probably need nursing home care in the next year or so. I have two questions: 1) If the nursing home cost exceeds his disability, will I be liable for the difference? and 2) Will I be able to retain any of his disability in order to meet my living expenses? 

If Medicaid pays for your husband’s care in the nursing home, you will not have to contribute anything from your income towards his cost of care. You will also be entitled to keep a portion of his income. Medicaid will use a formula to determine your income needs. The calculation includes your housing costs but no other actual expenses.

If, for instance, Medicaid determines that you need $2,980 a month to live on, referred to the MMNA (Minimum Monthly Needs Allowance). Medicaid will subtract your income from this amount to determine how much of your husband’s income you may keep. In this case, if your income allowance is $2,980 a month, you will be able to keep ($2,980 - $1,049) = $1,931 of your husband’s income each month. The balance of your husband’s income less his $60.00 Personal Needs Allowance  would be paid to you and there would be no Applied Income to the nursing home.  You could protect additional Countable Resources with the additional shortage of income.(Remember, these are all approximate numbers.)

Thanks, Richard



[email protected]


Sherman/Gainesville Office
209 East Main Street
Whitesboro, Texas 76273
Phone: 1-800-939-9093
Fax: 1-903-546-5562
By Appointment Only

Plano Office
1400 Preston Road, Suite 400
Plano, Texas 75093
Phone: 1-800-939-9093
Fax: 1-903-564-5562
By Appointment Only

Denton Office
1308 Teasley Lane, Suite 246
Denton, Texas 76205
Phone: 1-800-939-9093
By Appointment Only