Myths & Facts about Public Assistance with the Cost of Nursing Home Care in North Carolina

April 05, 2019

I have Retirement, I planned for this, right?


Myth: I need to go into long term care (LTC). I intend to apply for public assistance with the cost of care. Because my IRA is a tax-qualified retirement plan, it is disregarded in connection with my application for assistance.

Fact: IRAs (and other retirement plans), whether owned by an applicant for public assistance with the cost of LTC or the at-home spouse, which can be distributed in a lump sum are considered a countable asset. Advanced planning strategies can potentially preserve the value of an IRA.

Special rules may apply.

- Wyles Johnson, Board Certified Elder Law Specialist

The rules applicable to Medicare and Medicaid long-term care benefits are exceedingly complex. White & Allen, P.A. is proud to offer an attorney who is a Board-Certified Specialist in Elder Law and experienced staff to navigate and advise you, your family and friends on all your Elder Law issues. Please call us at (252)-527-8000 or email If you would like to request more information concerning rights of the elderly living in North Carolina and special programs for them, please contact us for a complimentary information booklet entitled "Senior Citizens Handbook” published by Project Grace (Young Lawyers Division and Elder & Special Needs Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association).


It is never too early or too late to plan for your future.