Eligibility for disability is based on your work record and record of Social Security payroll taxes, but SSI does not require that an individual have a work history or pay in to the system. In determining eligibility, the agency limits an applicant's income or assets, including those placed into a trust account.According to a recent survey, the average length of stay in a nursing home is two and a half years.Nursing homes provide a valuable service for elderly and disabled individuals who cannot adequately care for themselves. The American Association of Retired Persons reports that the typical nursing home stay costs an average of ,000 a year.
The income you transfer to your spouse for monthly maintenance is exempt income and sheltered under federal law. Unlike a living trust, an irrevocable trust is exempt from nursing home costs.Unfortunately, Medicare is not structured to pay for long-term care.Medicaid, a federal insurance program for low-income individuals, will cover nursing home care, but you may not be able to qualify for that care until you have exhausted your existing assets.Although a portion of the funds from the original trust “pour over” into the deceased spouse's estate, the testamentary trust included in his will protects that money from being seized to pay nursing home expenses.This provides financial protection for both you and your spouse regardless of which of you dies first.