Asked in Elder Law and Medical Malpractice for Texas

Q: My 91yr old mother in law who is wheelchair bound and in the last stages of Alzheimers disease.

She was discharged to my husband, 61 and had a heart attack and is unemployed and me 63 on medical disability. Needs total assistance with all ADL's. No discharge summary no Plan of care. We were financial unable to cover the cost of the nursing home. She has outlived her money to pay. Between her Socil Security and retirement she is around $500.00 over the Medicaid qualifying amount. Her private Doctor said she should not have been discharged to her for her safty and ours. What recourse do we have?

1 Lawyer Answer
Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett
  • Elder Law Lawyer
  • Austin, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: It appears that the nursing home would have done better to advise you to apply for Medicaid. Although Texas is one of 13 states with an income cap ($2,313 in 2019), under federal law an applicant can still qualify by establishing a Qualified Income Trust a/k/a a Miller Trust. This is basically a bank account. You or your husband would serve as the trustee. Contact your local Area Agency on Aging or an elder law attorney for help in setting one up. It is fairly straightforward. You may also want to talk with them about filing a complaint against the nursing home and others involved. Texas Medicaid pays less than the cost of care. Nursing homes should try to change this, not to expel people who need care. You can find a local elder law attorney using the Find a Lawyer function on the website of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (

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