When DSS places a lien on a client’s home, it means, in most cases, that the department will recover money when the home is sold or refinanced. It does not mean that the client will be forced to sell their home before they choose to. The money recovered is limited to the amount that the department issued to the client or on the client’s behalf.
DSS will also place a lien on the property of a legally liable relative, such as a spouse, whether the client is living with the individual or at another residence. This, however, does not apply if the client is placed in a long term care facility.
ALL CASH ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS REQUIRE A LIEN:
- State Supplement
- SAGA Cash
SOME MEDICAID PROGRAMS REQUIRE A LIEN:
- Medicaid only when the homeowner has been permanently placed into a long term care facility, but not if that person’s spouse, child under 21, any age disabled child, or sibling who co-owns the house are living in the house. In these cases a lien is not placed. If none of these people remain in the house, a lien is placed and the owner is expected to try to sell the property.
MOST MEDICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS DO NOT REQUIRE A LIEN
- Medicaid (until the person is placed in permanent long term care)
- Healthy Start
FOOD STAMP ASSISTANCE NEVER REQUIRES A LIEN.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON LIENS RELATIVE TO DSS BENEFITS:
Call Resource Units at DSS Regional Offices or call the Public Assistance Consultant at DSS Central Office's Property Division.
Source: DSS Public Assistance
Consultant, DSS Central Office Property Division
Prepared by: 211/tb
Content last modified: October2013