What are resources for purposes of Medicaid?
Resources are different from income. Resources include cash, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, IRAs, certificates of deposit, and cash value of life insurance policies. Your regular paychecks, Social Security, or Child Support payments are not resources.
Do resource limits affect all categories of Medicaid eligibility?
No. Resource limits only apply to Medicaid adult recipients in the disability/elderly category (eg. “SSI-related” such as SSD recipients, those over 65, and those getting institutional care. SSI recipients also have a resource limit that is set by SSI eligibility rules) Children, low income families, and non-disabled individuals or couples do not have a resource limit for Medicaid.
What resources are not counted for Medicaid?
- a burial fund and burial space
- a homestead (but see below)
- clothing and personal effects
- household furniture and appliances
- tools and equipment necessary for employment
What about a vehicle?
Vehicles are not considered a resource if they are needed for a person’s medical care, work or for operating a business.
What are the income and resource levels for people who are elderly or disabled?
(Note: The resource levels for institutional care are significantly higher.)
Whose resources count?
For disabled and elderly Medicaid applicants, the resources of a legally responsible relative in the household (e.g.spouse) count unless the relative refuses to make them available. In such cases they will not count, and DSS can file a support petition in Family Court.
What happens if assets are transferred?
There is no rule on transfers of assets made on or after October 1, 1989, unless the applicant is institutionalized. “Institutionalized” includes:
- a person in a nursing home
- a hospitalized person getting care at nursing home level
If the applicant is in an institution, a transfer of assets (including a home) for less than market value, within 60 months of application, could result in a denial of Medicaid.
The application could be granted if the denial based on a transfer of assets would cause an undue hardship. This exception does not apply if the transfer is made to a relative.
Can a home be transferred to family members and not be considered a transfer of an asset for institutional Medicaid?
Yes, but transfers should not be made without competent legal advice as they may result in nursing home Medicaid ineligibility. The following are permissible Medicaid transfers for nursing home candidates:
- to a spouse
- to a child under 21 or to a blind or disabled child of any age
- to a brother or sister who has an equity interest in the house and who lived there for at least a year before the institutionalization
- to a child, if the child had been living with the parent for at least two years before the parent moved to an institution and the child provided care during that time which allowed the parent to remain at home.
Are other transfers of assets permitted?
Yes. However, due to potential penalties associated with institutional care, we recommend consulting an experienced Medicaid or elder law attorney. Our Senior Citizen Law Project in Nassau may be able to assist.
The information contained in this material is not legal advice. Legal advice depends upon the specific facts of each situation. Also, the law may vary from state to state, so that some information from our website may not be correct for your jurisdiction. Finally, this information is not guaranteed to be up to date. The material contained on this site cannot replace the advice of competent legal counsel licensed in your state.