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Medicaid Planning

What happens to our income if either my
spouse or I need to go
into a nursing home? This is a question that we frequently hear. Medicaid Long Term Care Planning is key to protecting your assets and income for a dependent spouse should you or your spouse need to go into a nursing home. In Florida, the Department of Children and Families (“DCF”) determines your eligibility for Medicaid Long Term Care (“Medicaid
LTC”). DCF looks at two separate things: your income and your assets.

The applicant would need to qualify both under the income limit requirements
and under the asset limit requirements in order to qualify for Medicaid
LTC. If the applicant does not qualify, the applicant would need to engage in Medicaid LTC Planning in order to qualify for Medicaid LTC. This article is going to discuss income this month and will discuss asset issues next month.

With respect to income, the applicant’s income cannot exceed $2,523.00 per month (for 2022). Income for a spouse (called Community Spouse) can be unlimited. If the Community Spouse has no income or little income and is in need of support from the applicant, the Community Spouse may qualify for a Spousal Diversion whereby some of the applicant’s income is “diverted” to the Community Spouse. The Community Spousal Allowance minimum for 2022 is $2,178.00 (until June 2022), but the Community Spouse may qualify for up to $3,435.00 (until June of
2022) under certain circumstances.

If income for the applicant is over the income level allowed, the applicant may have a Qualified Income Trust (called QIT) created to deal with this overage. It is important to note that an applicant is allowed to keep $130 per month as a personal needs allowance as well as the cost of Medicare Part B. In addition, the Community Spousal Diversion may
be deducted if that applies. All other income of the applicant must be paid to the nursing home. Medicaid LTC picks up the difference between the cost of the nursing home care and the remaining income after the allowable expenses and the Spousal Diversion. If you have questions regarding Medicaid eligibility, it is important to consult with a Medicaid Planning Attorney to come up with your best options.

Please contact Mara Law, P.A. at 555 West Granada Blvd., Ste. D-10, Ormond Beach, Florida 32174, Telephone: 386.672.8081.