It depends on whether your father is claiming your sister as a dependent on his tax return. Normally, nursing home residents covered by Medicaid must pay almost all their income to the facility as a contribution to their cost of care. However, there are deductions for spouses if they are low income and also for certain family members. These include a child over age 21 who is claimed as a dependent on the nursing home resident’s tax return (or that of their spouse if they are married and not widowed).
Harry S. Margolis practices elder law, estate, and special needs planning in Boston and Wellesley, Massachusetts. He is the founder of ElderLawAnswers.com and answers consumer questions about estate planning issues here and at AskHarry.info.