During probate, the executor or heirs often must certify whether the Medicaid Estate Recovery Program (MERP) has a claim against the decedent’s estate. MERP stems from Federal law. MERP requires States to submit claims against the estate of dededents who received “covered long-term care” for persons age 55 or older paid for by Medicaid. A few examples of covered long-term care include the following:
- Nursing facility services;
- Community Living Assistance and support services;
- Home and Community-based services; or,
- Hospital and prescription drug services received while on the above programs.
Exceptions exist where a MERP claim will not be filed against the estate. Two examples of exceptions follow:
- There is a surviving spouse; or,
- There is a surviving child or children under age 21.
In Texas, MERP is administered by the Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS). DADS publishes a form that can be sent to its MERP contractor to obtain certification of whether or not a claim exists. Even if the family is “certain” that no covered long-term care was paid for by Medicaid, obtaining certification is a prudent step during probate. Click here to get a copy of the MERP certification form from DADS’ website.
Author Jim Cramp is the founder and principal attorney at the Cramp Law Firm. The Cramp Law Firm provides a
spectrum of family-related legal services in the greater San Antonio Region.