Here's the breakdown of "choices" available to us:
- In order to shorten the time necessary to qualify to be evaluated for eligibility in the Community Based Alternatives program, Keith enters a hursing home/institution for a minimum of 4 months (more likely 6 months). Given the near-death experiences and deterioriation of health he experienced in the last rehabilitation center, this is not an acceptable option.
- Apply for the Community Care for Aged and Disabled program. To do this, Keith is required to reduce countable assets to $6000. This is accomplished by either moving existing assets to a trust administered by a parent or transferring to another trusted individual. If the trust is created, it must have a "Medicaid payback" provision which means that once Keith passes away, all monies received from the government must be paid back from the trust. The purpose of the trust is that Keith would not have personal access to the funds.
- The real kicker is that to qualify for any support at all, Keith and I can have a combined gross income no greater than $4044/month. If we exceed that number, then all support is stopped and have to wait 6 months to reapply for support.
- Oh, and we could always get divorced. Apparently the institutions that actively encourage you to get married, use that against you when it comes to seeking support.
In truth, none of these choices are palatable. No matter which way you look at it, we only get the minimal support offered by public entities if we agree to impoverish ourselves and give up any control over our lives. Not only is Keith put in double jeopardy by compounding his physical disability with financial constraints, but I, as his wife, am equally bound by these limits. By these standards, we are both discouraged from being productive. Hard work and the commensurate financial rewards are punished by the system which is counter-productive at the very least.
Ultimately, I think our best bet is to shake ourselves free of the financial shackles that are offered by the governmental monies. By virtue of our creativity, age, networking skills, and ability to communicate our story, we are uniquely positioned to develop a financially successful alternative to the "choices". Naturally, we'll share the solution with the world!