Are you or your family entitled to a refund from Medicaid? 

Was money wrongfully recovered by Oregon Department of Human Services? 

On December 15, 2016 the Oregon Supreme Court in Tim Nay v. DHS invalidated two Oregon Department of Human Services.DHS, rules. Those rules allowed DHS to wrongfully recover property and other assets from the The total property of any kind owned by a person at the time of death.estates of A surviving spouse of a deceased spouse.widows or widowers of A federal/state program that pays for medical care and long term care. Eligibility is based on income and assets of individuals and married couples.Medicaid recipients, often years after the passing of the Medicaid recipient. As a result, many Oregonians may be eligible for a refund of the wrongly recovered property plus interest. This website is intended to help you determine if you may be entitled to a Medicaid refund. Tip: Hover over (desktop computers) or click (mobile devices and tablets) on underlined terms for definitions.


To learn if your situation is affected by the Supreme Court ruling in Nay v. DHS, please start here:

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Who Qualifies?

The 12/15/2016 Supreme Court Ruling in Nay v. DHS only applies to a married couple, where one spouse became Medicaid eligible, a A husband or wife who applied for and received Medicaid assistance for medical costs and long term care.“Medicaid Spouse” and one spouse did not, a A husband or wife of a Medicaid Spouse. This spouse did not receive Medicaid assistance.“Non Medicaid Spouse” as follows:

  • Medicaid paid for care and medical services for the Medicaid Spouse but not the Non Medicaid Spouse.
  • The Medicaid Spouse died first.
  • The Non Medicaid Spouse died later.
  • Oregon DHS then recovered money from the estate of the widow/widower Non Medicaid Spouse.

The invalidated rules allowed Oregon DHS to wrongfully recover its Medicaid payments when the couple’s home or other assets were not owned by the Medicaid Spouse at her/his prior death.

If the couple’s home or other assets were owned by the Medicaid Spouse at his/her prior death, then Oregon DHS may rightfully recovery the Medicaid payments from the estate of the widow/widower Non Medicaid Spouse.

For further explanation, see the examples below.

Example 1

John and Susan married in 1950. In 2004, John was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Susan was his full time caregiver until John’s care needs became too great for Susan. In 2007, John moved into a care facility. They owned their home together and $100,000 in joint savings.

Susan spent down $50,000. In 2009, Susan successfully applied for Medicaid assistance to help pay John’s $6,000 per month care cost. Medicaid required Susan to remove John’s name from the $50,000 savings shortly after the Medicaid application. She also removed John’s name from their home leaving the home in Susan’s name alone as permitted by Federal and Oregon Medicaid rules.

John died in 2012 while on Medicaid. Susan died in 2014. She never applied for Medicaid and never needed care. Shortly after Susan’s death, Oregon DHS sent a letter to Susan and John’s children stating that Susan’s estate owed over $200,000 to repay DHS for John’s care.

They consulted an attorney who told them Susan’s estate had to pay DHS for John’s care. They did so. As a result of the Oregon Supreme Court ruling in Nay v. DHS, Susan’s estate is eligible for a refund of the $200,000 plus interest.

Example 2

Bill and Gladys married in 1950. In 2004, Bill was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Gladys was his full time caregiver until Bill’s care needs became too great for Gladys. In 2007, Bill moved into a care facility. They owned their home together and $100,000 in joint savings.

Gladys spent down $50,000. In 2009, Gladys successfully applied for Medicaid assistance to help pay Bill’s $6,000 per month care cost. Medicaid required Gladys to remove Bill’s name from the $50,000 savings shortly after the Medicaid application. She failed to do so. She also failed to remove Bill’s name from their home leaving the home in both Gladys and Bill’s joint names.

Bill died in 2012 while on Medicaid. Gladys died in 2014. She never applied for Medicaid and never needed care. Shortly after Gladys’ death, Oregon DHS sent a letter to Gladys and Bill’s children stating that Gladys’ estate owed over $200,000 to repay DHS for Bill’s care.

They consulted an attorney who told them Gladys’s estate had to pay DHS for Bill’s care. They did so. Because Bill’s name remained on the title to their house and their savings at the time of his death, Gladys’ estate rightly owed the $200,000 to repay DHS for Bill’s care.

In EXAMPLE 1, John’s name was not on title to the house or the $50,000 savings at the time of his death. Thus, Susan’s estate is entitled to a refund of the $200,000 plus interest wrongfully recovered from her estate.

In EXAMPLE 2, Bill’s name was on title to the house and the $50,000 savings at the time of his death. Thus Gladys’ estate is not entitled to a refund of the $200,000 or interest recovered from her estate.

The key difference between EXAMPLE 1 and EXAMPLE 2 is whether or not the Medicaid Spouse holds title or legal interest in the house or other assets at the time of her/his death. If not, Oregon DHS is not entitled later to recover from the estate of the Non Medicaid Spouse.

If the Medicaid Spouse does hold legal title or interest in the house or other assets at the time of his/her death, then Oregon DHS is entitled later to recover from the estate of the Non Medicaid Spouse.

Sometimes when Oregon DHS feels it is entitled to recover under EXAMPLE 1, rather than forcing the house to be sold, DHS places a lien on the home to be paid upon a sale of the house later. If the Medicaid Spouse did not hold legal title or interest in the house at the time of her/his death, then the lien must be removed.

If a surviving child or other beneficiary of the deceased spouses entered into an installment payment arrangement under EXAMPLE 1, then the payments made plus interest must be refunded to the individual as a result of Nay v. DHS.


If you can answer yes to questions 1 and 2 above, the Oregon Supreme Court holding in Nay v. DHS may apply. If so, return of the money or assets taken by DHS, plus interest, may be possible. Please be aware that Medicaid is very complicated, not contained in one clear source, and filled with exceptions. To fully evaluate the details of your situation, consult an attorney or kindly provide your name and contact information. If possible, please complete answers to questions 3–9.

If we receive your contact information, you will be promptly contacted by the Law Offices of Nay & Friedenberg LLC to help determine if your situation falls within the Court holding. Receipt of your contact information does not create an attorney/client relationship. You will know what information will be needed to document your claim and your options to present your claim. There will be no charge or obligation. All information received will be treated as confidential. Unless you tell us otherwise, receipt of your contact information is your express consent for the Law Offices of Nay & Friedenberg LLC to contact you.  Feel free to contact us directly at 503-245-0894.

This website is created by and the property of the Law Offices of Nay & Friedenberg LLC for purposes of identifying and representing individuals affected by the holding in Tim Nay v. DHS.

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