New Jersey Laws on Estate Recovery Against a Deceased Medicaid Nursing Home Resident Leaving Behind a Disabled Child

HNWApplying for Medicaid Long Term Care Benefits, Elder Law

New Jersey is allowed to file a lien against the assets of a deceased Medicaid beneficiary. Generally, the only available asset is the person’s home, often called their personal residence. When applying for Medicaid, the Medicaid claim form states that the state can file a claim and lien against the estate of a deceased Medicaid client to recover all Medicaid payments received on or after age 55 if there is no surviving spouse, no surviving child under age 21, and no child who is blind or permanently and totally disabled.

Question #3 of the Medicaid application asks whether the deceased Medicaid beneficiary was survived by a child of any age who is blind or permanently and totally disabled. If yes, the applicant is asked to provide proof of blindness or permanent and total disability.

Nowhere on the form does it state that the disabled child has to be either living with the decedent or a dependent of the decedent. NJAC 10:49-14.1, a corresponding regulation is silent on this issue as well.

A question recently posed was whether Medicaid can assert a claim against deceased Medicaid assets if his/her disabled child was not living with and not dependent upon the decedent but is a beneficiary of the estate.

The answer is simple and direct. Federal law prohibits recovery by the state if the decedent is survived by a surviving spouse, young child, or disabled child. The residence of the surviving exempt person is irrelevant. Therefore, New Jersey estate recovery will not apply to the surviving disabled child.

If you have questions regarding a Medicaid matter, please contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or email him at

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold Township, Monmouth County, NJ Medicaid Attorney


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