Public Benefits

Public benefits are usually means-tested welfare benefits for people who need assistance. Typically they are taken from general tax dollars, which is why they are treated differently from entitlement programs. Public benefits include:

Benefits you paid for through payroll deductions are entitlements. They include Medicare, Social Security Disability (SSDI), Social Security Retirement and Railroad Retirement.

Elder Law Attorneys and Special Needs Law Attorneys frequently use tools like special needs trusts or engage in Medicaid Planning to help older adults and individuals with special needs access public benefits. We’re still building this website, so if we haven’t answered your questions yet on one of our main pages or in a blog post, contact us at websupport@ezelderlaw.com.

  • BLOG POSTS

    Spousal Impoverishment Standards By Year

    The Medicaid Spousal Impoverishment allowances are updated annually. Below are some of the annual allowance figures we’ve saved. The most current figures are usually posted here. 2023 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 1998 – 2011

    2023 SSI and Spousal Impoverishment Standards

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released the 2023 SSI and Spousal Impoverishment Standards. Among the highlights are the following: Community Spouse Resource Allowance: $148,620 Maximum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance: $3,715.50 Income Cap: $2,742 (used to deterine whether a QIT is needed) Individual SSI rate: $914

    Cash, Bank Accounts and Non-retirement Investments and Medicaid

    Cash and Accounts Monetary resources can typically be liquidated within 20 days. These include cash, savings accounts, checking accounts, money market accounts and the like. Medicaid always “counts” monetary assets when determining Medicaid eligibility. Specifically, 20 C.F.R § 416.1201(b) provides: “Liquid resources are cash or other property which can be converted to cash within 20 […]

    Government Bonds and Medicaid

    Government Bonds are debt instruments issued by a government entity. The most common form of government bond owned by a Medicaid applicantis U.S. Savings Bonds. Savings bonds are not transferrable. They can only be sold back to the government. If they are owned solely by the applicant or the applicant’s spouse, they are countable. However, […]

    Vehicles and Medicaid

    General Rule One vehicle of any value is exempt. If the applicant has more than one vehicle, then the most valuable vehicle will be exempt and other vehicles will count toward the $2,000 resource limit. In Georgia, “Automobile” means any vehicle used for transportation. These include cars, trucks, motorcycles, golf carts, animal-drawn vehicles and animals. […]

    POMS Provisions Regarding Property Rights

    POMS SI 01120.010 provides that an individual must have some form of ownership interest in property in order for the property to be considered a resource. [For presumably liquid resources (SI 01110.305), assume that the person whose name is shown as owner owns the entire resource. If more than one owner is shown, assume that […]

    Property Rights

    Assets are things you own that have value. Assets include all income and all resources. 42 U.S.C. § 1396p(h)(1).  They are one-half of a net-worth calculation (the other half being liabilities). Medicaid treats different types of assets differently, with some being countable and others being non-countable (or exempt) during the eligibility determination. Recall that you […]

    Divorce and the Community Spouse

    Another “option” that may be considered in appropriate cases is divorce. Deeming between spouses terminates when the marriage terminates. In most cases, this “option” should be avoided because the emotional turmoil associated with divorce is significant and the CSRA can be set by court order, see § 1396r-5(f)(2)(iv) and (f)(3). Divorce also prevents an applicant […]

    Seeking Adjustments to the CSRA or MMMNA

    MCCA includes a mechanism for increasing both the CSRA and the MMMNA in certain cases. The methods by which this can be effected are described in 1396r-5(e), (d)(5) and (f)(3). Blumberg v. Tennessee Department of Human Resources, 2000 WL 1586454 (Tenn.Ct.App.) was a case where a Community Spouse sought a court adjustment of the default […]

    Post-Eligibility Treatment of the Institutional Spouse’s Income

    As eligibility is being determined, if the Community Spouse’s monthly income falls below the Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance (“MMMNA”), then MCCA contemplates two methods of raising her income up to the MMMNA. First, a portion of the Institutionalized Spouse’s income may be transferred to her to bring her income up to the MMMNA. Second, […]

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