Skip to main content

Medicaid/social security : Sell current house and buy a smaller one

New York, NY |

My mom wants to sell her current primary house and buy a new but smaller one to reduce the mortgage loan payment. If she sells then repurchase it within a short period of time, will this affect her medicaid eligibility? What if she just wants to keep the cash and rent? Still okay with medicaid under social security? Mom is concerned about her medicaid eligibility since she is not healthy, and she might need a long term care with medicaid.

She is receiving only medicare, and nothing else. My main question is if she can sell and re-purchase still does not affect medicaid eligibility (look back period)

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Its time to learn the eligibility rules and think clearly about these benefits. What is not clear about your question is what benefits your mother presently receives. Social Security and Medicare are insurance programs, and would not be affected by the sale of the residence, even if she held the cash and rented. Medicaid is a means-tested welfare program for persons of low income and little in assets. In any month in which your mother is holding more than $2,000 in cash, she will be ineligible for Medicaid. Whether her Social Security benefit will make her ineligible is uncertain, but at the point she endeavors to establish Medicaid eligibility for longterm care, the assistance of an experienced elder law or public-benefits attorney will be essential.

    Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.

    This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.


  2. I agree, depending on what program you mother gets benefits from the sale could affect her benefits. Talk to a local elder law attorney before doing anything so that her benefits are not adversely affected.

    Good luck.

    DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being provided for informational purposes only because the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.


  3. It depends on what program your mother is on. If she is on regular retirement SS it doesn't matter. Likewise SSDI is not needs based. If she is on SSI, it could matter greatly. Contact a local SS lawyer. Take all your records on the initial visit. They will be able to apply the law to your particular circumstances.

    Finding a lawyer is not that hard. You can search for a Social Security attorney on this site. Just click on the Find A Lawyer tab, put Social Security as your search term and enter the name of your city.

    Look through the attorneys to make your choice. You may want to see what questions they answered (at the bottom of each profile) so that you can get a feel for one you would feel most comfortable in dealing with. Attorneys are people and come in all styles. The way they answer questions can give you a peek into the way they will likely deal with you.

Social security topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics