Person Owns

Person Owns Ryan Braun August 19, 2022
HOUSING OPTIONSPERSON OWNS
Person with a disability owns and occupies the property

The family member with a disability can own the property (home). These pages describe this option from the perspective of both the family member with a disability and the parent(s).

Low Risk

Liability Risk

High Risk

Much Control

Day-to-Day Control of Property

Little Control

Much Control

Long-Term Control of Asset

Little Control

Flexible

Flexibility to Move

Limited Flexibility

What is this?

The family member with a disability can own the property (home). These pages describe this option from the perspective of both the family member with a disability and the parent(s).

If the parent(s) or others make contributions towards the purchase or maintenance of a property (home), these contributions may be considered to be income for the person with a disability and may have an impact on their benefits. However, parent(s) or grandparent(s) and others can contribute to the person’s STABLE account, and the STABLE Account can be used to pay expenses related to the property (home). See Information and Resources: STABLE Account and “Where Do I Get More Information” below.

If a relative is interested in ‘leaving their home’ directly to the family member with a disability, they should carefully review the information in this Guide and consult a qualified Medicaid planning attorney before making a decision. 

If the person with a disability rents a portion of the home to another person, the rent is treated as income to the family member with a disability and will impact their benefits, either by lowering or eliminating SSI or Medicaid. Rental income may also have tax implications.

What Circumstances Make this a Possible Fit?

    • The family member with a disability has assets that can be used for a down payment and has sufficient assets or income for ongoing maintenance of the property (home) and/or:
    • A trust has been established for the benefit of the family member with a disability and is adequately funded, and/or
    • A STABLE account has been established in the name of the family member with a disability and is adequately funded and used either separately or in conjunction with a trust in a manner that allows for upkeep of the property (home).
    • The family member and  parent(s) are aware of medicaid estate recovery implications.
    • The parent(s) understands that If funds from a STABLE account (or Medicaid payback trust) are used to purchase the home it must be in the name of the family member with a disability. 
    • The family member with a disability is able to identify and manage home maintenance and other issues related to home ownership in a timely manner, has a network of  support to offer assistance as needed, or is able to pay a third party for these services.

What Does This Mean to My Family Member with a Disability?

    • The family member with a disability can experience the joy, self-esteem, and status of owning a home. 
    • The family member has control of the living environment.
    • The home can be excluded as an asset for SSI purposes. In order to qualify for the exclusion, the home must be the primary residence of the person.  This person with the disability can also be eligible for this exclusion if they are co-owners of the home (e.g. co-owners with a sibling).
    • Medicaid and SSI  will not be impacted by owning a home as long as the person with the disability resides in the home.

What Does this Mean to the Parent's Estate and that of the Family Member with a Disability?

    • This would have no impact on the estate of the parent(s). 
    • The home will be an asset of the family member with a disability. This person should have a will or sign a transfer on death affidavit to ensure a smooth transfer of property to his/her heirs upon death. 
    • Medicaid will assert their interest in the property (if they have one) upon the death of a family member with a disability under Medicaid Estate Recovery.

Where Do I Get More Information?

  • Your local housing authority may have programs to assist with homeownership though the Family Self Sufficiency Program and/or the Housing Choice Voucher Program. Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) can be contacted at 513-721-4580. 
  • People Working Cooperatively can provide assistance with home repair to individuals of low income.  They can be reached at pwchomerepairs.org or 513-351-7921.
  • May We Help is a 501(c)3 organization with over 150 volunteers, who create specialty adaptive devices for individuals.  These volunteers are handymen, artists, electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, programmers, techies, gear-heads, makers, students, designers, fabricators, drag car enthusiasts, problem solvers, and friends.  They will create equipment to meet a specific need.  This process can be initiated on their website at maywehelp.org.
  • Easter Seals has partnered with Freddie Mac to help more people with disabilities obtain affordable housing through renting or buying a home. Learn more here.

Pros

Cons

Pros and Cons

Extent of Control

Effects on Public Benefits

Longevity

Property Management Responsibility

Financial Considerations

Long Term Flexibility

Tax Issue

Created by a Home Think Tank workgroup. 

Information on this sheet is provided for informational purposes only. Nothing in this document should be considered legal or accounting advice. Contact a professional for information pertinent to your specific situation.

© 2022 Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities Services

This document may be reproduced and distributed without modification.