Myths & Facts about Public Assistance with the Cost of Nursing Home Care in North Carolina

April 12, 2019

So, we have too much, but not enough? What do we do?


Myth: My husband is in a long-term care (LTC) facility. He and I together have way too much in savings and investments for him to qualify for public assistance with the cost of care, so we’ll just have to private pay for his care until it’s gone, then he’ll qualify for assistance.

Fact: The general rule is that the “at-home” spouse can keep 50% of all countable assets, up to a maximum of $123,600 (in 2018). The remaining countable assets are allocated to the spouse whom is in the LTC facility, which he must “spend down” to $2,000. By utilizing advanced planning strategies, the at-home spouse can potentially keep all the countable assets allocated to her spouse. Exceptions may apply.

- Wyles Johnson, Board Certified Elder Law Specialist

The rules applicable to Medicare and Medicaid long-term care benefits are exceedingly complex. White & Allen, P.A. is proud to offer an attorney who is a Board-Certified Specialist in Elder Law and experienced staff to navigate and advise you, your family and friends on all your Elder Law issues. Please call us at (252)-527-8000 or email If you would like to request more information concerning rights of the elderly living in North Carolina and special programs for them, please contact us for a complimentary information booklet entitled "Senior Citizens Handbook” published by Project Grace (Young Lawyers Division and Elder & Special Needs Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association).


It is never too early or too late to plan for your future.