having defended a woman in similar straits

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This is almost certainly righty propaganda. You are entitled to your home and your car when you apply for Medicaid, especially if they belong to your "common law" husband... aka boyfriend. You can't hide $35,000 in your checking account. You can't hide 35¢ in your checking account. The hitch is that you can't have had more than $2000 to your name in five years or they accuse you of gaming the system. That thirty-five grand, could have been in her account years ago to pay New York's outrageous property taxes... a lump sum deposited to make sure they got paid... or the proceeds of the sale of something valuable toward the same end... if she has been estranged from her wealthy significant other and couldn't pay the taxes herself.

If she's still with him, there may be a problem, depending on whether New York recognizes common law, the fucks, depending on whether they live together, depending on whether he's still wealthy. If she's not still with him, she's almost certainly dirt broke, doesn't own anything, and needing help getting medical attention for herself and/or her children. He could be forced to pay child support, but that's a long process, and not going to be doing any good now.

I mean, he well could have bought her the house and let her use the car as his way of supporting the kids. She can't sell either because his name is also on the deed and he owns the car. The bottom line is, she can be completely innocent of fraud, and the state should be going after him for being a deadbeat.