A Medicaid Estate Recovery Program (MERP) claim does not have to be repaid if the probate estate is less than $10,000.00. There are several other reasons that deny the State from recovery including as stated above that the State does not meet the requirements to recover.
In most situations, the only asset with substantial value is the homestead. If a Ladybird was used to transfer title then the State will not be able to recover. Currently, the State of Texas may only recover reimbursement out of a patient’s probate estate.
The most common reason that the State does not get repaid is that the nursing home patient’s spouse is still living. The State cannot require a spouse to repay the reimbursement claim from the sale of the house. The same is also true if a child of the patient is under age 21, or is disabled or blind is living in the house. A third basis is if a sibling of the patient is living in the house, owns a portion of the home and lived there for at least one year prior to the patient’s admission to the nursing home.
There are several other situations where the State cannot enforce its claim. Please call me to set up an appointment if you have received a claim.