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Thread: Divorce - Ex-Spouse Payment For Caregiving?

  1. #1

    Divorce - Ex-Spouse Payment For Caregiving?

    Need your help, advice, input on this if possible.

    Have been informed that it is legally possible for me and my husband to get divorced and I can (as I would no longer be his spouse) be employed by him as a live- aide / caregiver under the Medicaid waiver program.

    We live in West Virginia. We have been married for 7 years. My husband is C6 / C7 and already enrolled on the Medicaid Personal Options Waiver Program, with an aide's allowance of 4 hours a day. We have no children, no property, no assets. Currently we are struggling to survive financially, he receives $736 disability and I have a very small income from the UK. We currently pay all our rent , utility bills etc out of that. We do not receive food stamps or LEAP. We hoping to acquire a rent subsidized property soon which will help, and we have been informed that we are entitled to food stamps - even so struggling for this long on so little income has put us in a HUGE financial hole with loans from family and friends just to buy food. I cannot get a job outside the home as his care is pretty much round the clock ( he is now fully bed bound) oh and plus I have Stage 3 cancer would make me considerably less 'attractive' to any prospective employers. Coupled with the problem of retaining reliable aide's the best solution all round would be for us to proceed along this path.

    Apart from the issue of Med Power of Attorney ( which we have already sorted) is there other issues, pitfalls, problems that we would need to consider before we pursue this any further? Your help would be gratefully appreciated.

  2. #2
    Getting a "divorce" like this in my state, and continuing to live together in order to qualify for benefits is seen as fraud (and actively prosecuted) in my state, so I would not do this without some expert legal advice.

    Have you applied for food stamps?

    Have you talked to the local Independent Living Center and sought their advice?

    (KLD)

  3. #3
    We were VERY worried about the legal issues and sought advice from the DHR - have been told that it would be legal - but yes legal expert advice would be the most prudent course of action. I myself would not be seeking any benefits ( I am not entitled as a non-citizen) He would not be seeking any new benefits as his entitlement ( whether we are married or not) remains the same. The only difference financially would be he would be able to employ me as his caregiver as spouses are not in this state allowed to do this. We further checked with the Waiver Program people and were also informed that it was perfectly legal for us to do.

    We are applying for food stamps - didn't even know we were entitled until we spoke to the DHR just last week - the case manager has sent us the forms

    We haven't talked to the ILC - again another place we did not know that could help us until recently. I shall contact them.

    I have spoken to the WVBCCTP ( re: my cancer treatment coverage) and if I would still retain my eligibility if I was employed as his care giver - and have been informed that it would be fine

    The other issues that are concerning us is the subsidized handicapped apartment - and we obviously need to talk to them as it is a Federal Subsidized program. From what we understand, then providing he met the financial requirements - AND I was not seeking any tenant rights ( which I wouldn't be ) - then it would be acceptable.

    Such a huge decision to take and one that we need expert advice on because we do not want to do anything illegal / fraudulent. We don't want to apply for food stamps and all the rest of it as a married couple ( even though we are entitled) if that would create later problems *if* we got divorced. So we have things pretty much on hold until we make sure that we are not doing anything wrong.

    Thank you for your input

  4. #4
    Ok I have just talked to the ILC - and their opinion based upon the fact that I had sought advice from the DHHR and the Waiver Program people regarding legality / fraud issues was that there didn't seem to be a problem with us pursuing this path. I will still seek some expert legal advice, just to make sure we have our ducks in a row and there is no hidden pitfalls. Obviously each State will vary in it's regulatory requirements, but I will report back as too what information I receive in the event it may be of use / interest to others if that is acceptable.

  5. #5
    Since you would not be married to an American citizen if you should divorce, would that in anyway impact your ability to stay in the United States?

    All the best,
    GJ

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by gjnl View Post
    Since you would not be married to an American citizen if you should divorce, would that in anyway impact your ability to stay in the United States?

    All the best,
    GJ
    No, not at all - I meet the requirements for residency ( and citizenship if I could afford it! lol ) whether I am married or not It is a good point though and something that had we only been married for 2 years or less would have been an issue

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