Medicaid planning is discussed in more detail in subsequent chapters. Planning is the process of restructuring an estate in a legal manner to accelerate Medicaid eligibility. Often, the purpose is to protect the Community Spouse or a disabled child, but it can be done to protect a family inheritance as long as you follow the […]

Medicaid beneficiaries cannot “fix” eligibility by giving away resources. A transfer of resources without receipt of fair market value will trigger calculation of a transfer penalty. “The penalty for an institutionalized individual consists of ineligibility for certain services for a period or periods of ineligibility that equal the number of months calculated by taking the […]

As with the income rules, the resource defaults may be changed. First, if all of the Applicant’s income has been diverted to the Community Spouse and the monthly income available to the Community Spouse still does not reach the minimum monthly maintenance needs allowance, then 42 U.S. Code § 1396r–5(e)(2)(C) provides an administrative remedy for […]

A Community Spouse is entitled to a resource allowance in addition to the income allowance. 42 U.S. Code § 1396r–5(f)(1) and (2) provide: (1)  In general An institutionalized spouse may, without regard to section 1396p(c)(1) of this title, transfer an amount equal to the community spouse resource allowance (as defined in paragraph (2)), but only […]


The SSI regulations describe deeming as the process of considering another person’s income or resources to be your own. See 20 CFR § 416.1160 (income) and 20 CFR § 416.1202 (Resources). Prior to the time Medicaid is approved, all marital resources are deemed available to the Applicant. See 42 U.S. Code § 1396r–5(c)(2)(A). However, 42 […]

As a general rule, all countable resources owned by the Institutionalized Spouse are considered available to pay his or her nursing home bills. It does not matter whether the resource is co-owned with someone else unless co-ownership makes it impossible to liquidate the resource. Georgia ABD Manual § 2300 states that resources include cash, other […]

The law protects a Community Spouse with low income. It does this by diverting a portion of the applicant’s income to the Community Spouse. The rules are different in each state so we’re giving you the law. In 2023, states that allow a maximum income allowance say that a Community Spouse with less than $3,715.50 […]

On the income side, there are three pathways to Medicaid eligibility for nursing home residents. First, SSI recipients are almost always eligible. Second, in most States, if the resident’s income does not exceed 300% of the federal poverty level ($2,742 in 2023), then he or she qualifies for Medicaid under a “special income level.” Third, […]

In evaluating financial eligibility for Medicaid, both monthly income and resources must be considered. The basic rule is everything having value is an asset. 42 U.S.C. § 1396p(h)(1). This includes monthly income and resources. Income includes both earned and unearned income. 42 U.S.C. § 1396p(h)(2) incorporates by reference the definition of income found at 42 […]

Categorical and medical eligibility is covered in Chapter 2. Here we begin an aerial fly-over of financial eligibility. In this chapter we are painting with a broad brush. Subsequent chapters will examine financial eligibility and planning techniques in more detail. In reviewing financial eligibility, it is important to know which class of assistance the applicant […]

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