Aged, Blind, Disabled (ABD): Absence from the Home: Temporary vs Permanent


The home property can keep its exemption during extended absences. Policy gives these periods of absence that don’t need to be questioned:

Trips, visits, vacations: 90 days

Medical care not received in a nursing home: 6 months

Medical care received in a nursing home: 12 months if the client intends to return to the home 317:35-5-41.8(a)(3).

If the absence will be longer, there needs to be a discussion with the client on the client’s ability or intent to continue using the property as the primary residence.

If the client cannot or will not continue using the property as the primary residence, the property must be counted against eligibility, or the client put the property up for sale. Read this article for details: Countable Property.

If the client has a viable plan to return to living on the home property, the property can still be exempt. The worker should set a reminder for the date the client intends to return home to check if the client did return.

If the client returned to the home, the property stays exempt

If the client did not return, determine why not and if it really is feasible for the property to continue to be the primary residence. Follow the previous steps in determining if the property is a countable resource.

Example 1:

Kalpana Chawla is on QMBP. She has multiple sclerosis and recently her vision had gotten so blurry she has problems with cooking or getting around the house, so she has moved in with her daughter. These episodes usually last a few weeks. She expects to return to living in her home again in less than a month. This can be considered a temporary absence.

Example 2:

Mario Molina is on QI-1. He is going to visit relatives in Mexico City from mid-November through mid-January to miss the cold winter months. He does plan to return to Oklahoma in late March. The absence is expected to be about 90 days, so this can still be considered a temporary absence. A reminder is set for mid-January to make sure he has returned to the home.

Example 3:

Enrico Fermi had a heart attack. He spent a month in the hospital then two months at a rehabilitation center. He is a widower who lives in his home alone. His doctors have determined he will never improve enough to be able to live on his own, even with someone coming into the house a few hours a week. This can no longer be considered a temporary absence.

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